By Alice Nance

Planting a garden at home or in your office lawn can add a new twist to the outdoor portion of your home/work area. I'm sure you have seen a front lawn whose appeal rivals that of a raincoat on a sunny afternoon, with just a solitary tree or bush in there for the heck of it. If you happen to score some free time this year, then it's high time you got creative with your lawn and whip up a garden design that would make your front lawn the envy of the neighborhood.

Don't be afraid to solicit assistance from somebody in the know if you think coming up with a garden design is something cannot be perturbed with. There are a dime a dozen landscape architects and gardening professionals who would definitely be glad to help you come up with a knockout design that not only meets your needs but also fully reflects your personality. Don't waste another minute if your garden design plans are screeching to a snail's pace - the ideal gardening aide may be a call away, and researching on the phone book or on the Internet will be your ticket to one.

There are things to be aware of when planning your garden. First, consider honestly what kind of budget you can afford. To each his/her own - you cannot expect to start big and have something just like your friends may have. Starting with a small garden will not be your fall from social grace. Really, you want to be aware of your budget and stay within it. Gardens are just like your average home improvement task - too many cooks can spoil the broth.

Another thing to be aware of when planning your garden is what kind of time, realistically, you have to put in to tending your garden. Do not let the demons of comparison tempt you into insecurity. Their schedule is their schedule, your schedule is your schedule. And do not create a garden design so sprawling that you have to bend over backwards just to make sure it is properly attended to. If you have enough funds to afford somebody for the job, then hiring a gardener to take care of your labor of love is always a worthwhile option. Just be realistic and plan a garden that truly fits your schedule.

Adding a garden can be one of the best things for your home or office lawn. Exercise discretion. Some people compare gardening to a chess game, and while that may sound farfetched, strategic garden design makes perfect sense if you consider different soil types and climates for each area. That, and other details will have to be considered when choosing your garden design, so be sure you choose it with care so you can reap the rewards of your garden for the coming decades.

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