Stacie Crooks is a Seattle-based backyard designer who has created stunning, ecologically pleasant, low-maintenance gardens all through the Pacific Northwest. She can also be a contributing editor for Fantastic Gardening journal and has shared her insights with our readers via 10 characteristic articles and several other departments over the previous 17 years. On this episode, Carol interviews Stacie in regards to the classes that she has gained from her years of backyard design expertise. 

Stacie Crooks’s Backyard Design Guidelines of Thumb

1. Determine your venture.

Ask your self “What do I wish to obtain?” and “Why do I wish to do that?” Having a transparent objective in mind- be it decrease upkeep, higher curb enchantment, or extra wildlife within the garden- will enable you make the precise design, model, and plant decisions.

2. Know your website.

Earlier than you may make any adjustments, you might want to know your limitations. Decide the backyard’s gentle publicity and angles, soil sorts, drainage, topography, and dimension. Think about irrigation (when you want water, the place will it come from?) and entry (how will you get into the backyard and transfer via it?) Bearing all this in thoughts, set a price range.

3. Get impressed.

Along with your targets and tips clear, It’s time for a strong plan. Folks all the time ask, “The place do I begin?” Have interaction in actions that foster studying and friendships. Learn books and magazines and go to lectures. Be part of a backyard membership. Volunteer at a public backyard. Look within the newspapers and on the web for alternatives. Take notes, make lists and make sketches. Take images of gardens you go to and replica them.

4. No zone denial.

While you go to purchase your crops at your native nursery, learn the tags fastidiously. Select solely that which is suited in your website and to your life-style. If it isn’t clear, ask a nursery particular person. Ensure that the quantity of care that plant wants match the time and vitality you’ll be able to afford.

5. End one backyard earlier than you begin one other.

Resist shopping for crops that aren’t in your present project- they’ll simply die ready so that you can plant them. Follow the checklist.

6. Be accountable environmentally.

At all times intention to make use of much less water, much less fertilizer, and no chemical substances. The higher your website, the better it’s to realize success naturally. There’s an significance to NOT gardening, utilizing fewer assets and fewer labor and simply having fun with your area extra.


Front cover of Fine Gardening December 2023 issue
The entrance cowl of Fantastic Gardening’s December 2023 problem that includes a photograph from Stacie’s article, “So Lengthy, Garden”. Photograph: doreenwynja.com 
backyard fence completely hidden by long garden border
By repeating hues and generously filling the area with stalwart crops, Stacie has made the fence in her again yard disappear. Photograph: doreenwynja.com
close up of densely planted garden bed with color and texture interest
In Stacie’s designs, dependable perennials that require little care are sometimes used to offer pleasing pockets of shade and texture. Photograph: doreenwynja.com
garden border with lots of evergreen plants
Daring colours and varieties take middle stage in Stacie’s again backyard. Photograph: doreenwynja.com 

05 Agave planted in gravel 

Silver Surfer agave
‘Silver Surfer’ agave thrives in Seattle’s temperate local weather. Photograph: doreenwynja.com
close up of plant combination in garden designer's home garden
One other gorgeous plant combo from Stacie’s house backyard. Photograph: doreenwynja.com
concrete path and steps leading to house
A path that’s at the very least 5 ft extensive permits two individuals to stroll aspect by aspect. Photograph: doreenwynja.com 
garden hose in a pot
Coiling a hose inside an empty planter is a pretty resolution for maintaining a hose helpful however out of sight. Photograph: courtesy of Stacie Crooks
lawn replaced with low-maintenance and hardscaping
This garden alternative venture options low-maintenance crops and hardscaping that may accommodate a wheelchair or walker. Photograph: doreenwynja.com
garden patio in backyard
Outside dwelling areas have skilled a surge in reputation in recent times. Photograph: doreenwynja.com
garden bed with cool colored flowers
A palette of crops tailored to Seatte’s dry summers and delicate, wet winters mix superbly on this low-maintenance panorama. Photograph: doreenwynja.com 
lawnless front yard
A seating are within the middle of this backyard mattress feels set aside from the world, however in actuality it’s simply steps away from the house’s entrance entrance. Photograph: doreenwynja.com

Extra from Stacie Crooks:


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