Snow may be in the forecast, but many Iowans are already planning their landscaping adventures which they’ll launch in another month or so. Don Engelbretson, who calls himself the Renegade Gardener, says some Iowans make the mistake of thinking too small with their landscaping projects, instead of conceptualizing a bigger picture.
Engelbretson says some folks want to add trees, shrubs or a flower garden but they look at their property in individual, little spaces, maybe singling out a sunny spot by the road on which they’ll cut a little circle to grow flowers. He says people need to broaden the scope of their landscaping, instead of limiting themselves to working on one patch at a time.
Engelbretson says you may plunk down a bench or a birdbath against a fence or under a tree without designing a full landscape that might include those elements. He calls this a “creeping landscape” where there are individual areas of development but the full landscape never pulls together. Engelbretson, who’s written five books on landscaping and garden design, says it doesn’t take thousands of dollars and an architect, just a little time and creativity.
He says getting a soil test is important for Iowans. He says 85-percent of your success or failure in gardening will be based on your soil, though he says Iowans are blessed with pretty good soil but it can all be effected by what the builders did during construction, as well as many other elements. America’s gardening and landscaping industry is worth 39-billion dollars a year. Engelbretson is appearing at the Home and Garden Show in Des Moines which opened Wednesday and runs through Sunday.