Before you start plotting the changes you’d like to make, ask yourself what you want out of your space, but be realistic about it. Look back at the way your spaces have been cared for in the past. Did you let your landscape go feral, or did you keep everything in check? Did you meander through your garden checking things out, or was it just the scenery from the street to the house? Remember that beautiful patio that you built years ago? Did you use it all the time, or just blow the leaves off in the fall? Do you have or are you developing a physical condition that limits the work that you can do? What are those limitations? There is no wrong or right answer to these questions, so don’t feel guilty. Just make sure you give an honest answer. Just having a different style of landscape likely won’t change your behavior. You may create an amazing space that rivals the greatest gardens in England, but if your attention to it’s upkeep wanes, it’s all for not. Why waste the time and inputs to create something that you will not use, or worse yet, will begin to loathe. If you think that you may start to enjoy gardening, grow into your space. Add a few ‘needy’ things here and there and see how they fare under your care. If they thrive, keep adding. If they languish, change your course.
Now read on to figure out how to put all these puzzle pieces back together. The rest of the chapters will help you compose a new space.