It’s hard.  Those blooming annuals and perennials  sold at almost every store this time of year are just so appealing.  I can barely buy a dozen eggs without bringing home some color…like the Gerber daisy above.

Yes, it will look good in a pot…But before you blow the budget on blooms, a  plea–

Think big.

Annuals, even   flats of annuals or quarts of perennials, look pretty small when we get them in home and in the ground.

Because they are small.  They will grow.  But they won’t grow enough to make a garden–

I just visited a spot in rural Orange County that I can’t get out of mind.  Sorry, no pictures of Cathy’s garden.  I was too busy taking it in…

Cathy lives on an old farmstead–lots of flat space which she filled with primo trees and shrubs from local nurseries like Camellia Forest.

The nationally famous perennial nursery, Niche Gardens,  is just around the corner–but I get the feeling Cathy didn’t start with perennials.    She planted trees, grand ones like Magnolia macrophylla,  fruit trees and  big old-fashioned shrubs like pearl bush and lilac.

Cathy's Magnolia in bloom--

And Cathy didn’t worry much about  grass  Standing in her rather tall mixed clover lawn, enjoying a rain of dogwood and cherry tree petals, reminded me of the wonderful, overgrown and very delightful gardens of my childhood.

Enclosure. There’s something so comforting about it.

So make sure to  buy plants that will separate you from the neighbors and the street–trees, shrubs.

Just remember, if you plant it now, you’ll need to water.  One  inch a week for the first two years (if it doesn’t rain) is the rule.

You can do that.

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