Story last updated at 8:24 PM on Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Brenda Adams’ gardening tips

•Spend time preparing your soil. Soil is the most important ingredient for a successful garden.

  Photo by Toni Jabas
Brenda Adams works on a driftwood border for a garden on the Homer Spit that she recently completed for the harbor master.  
• Decide how much time you want to spend working in your garden. It’s better to have a small exquisite garden than a huge garden that will frustrate you because you don’t have the time to keep it looking good.

• Start planning your garden the summer before you create it. You can prepare your soil, put in the hardscape elements and be ready to plant in the spring.

• It’s important to envision the future. Imagine your garden in two years. It should look lovely in all its stages.

• You don’t have to do everything at once. Work off a master plan, and add to your landscape when you are ready.

• Read the tag when purchasing a plant. Find out how big it will grow, how much sun it needs and what kind of soil it will grow in.

• Choose well-behaved plants. Ones that won’t take over a garden, like daisies tend to do.

• Consider the foliage of the plants. Their size, shape, texture and color are key things to look at when designing a garden.

• Use indigenous plants as a backdrop, such as a wall of alders or fireweed.