Design with Your Personality a friendly and growing community of gardeners. We feature a Garden Discussion Forum and Garden Photo Gallery. It's a fun and friendly place to talk with other gardeners, ask questions, share you knowledge, view and post photos and more! Whether you're a master gardener, or brand new to the hobby, you'll find something of interest here.


New Member
Hi All,

When you build and create gardens, do you put some of your personality into your work?

If you don't, you should.

You are the one(s) that look at it everyday.

There are times to consider neighbors, but done with some taste and they will applaud you as well.

For most of us, we are the ones that work and play in them regularly.

Why not create something that appeals to your eyes and personality?

All to often, designers will use what I call a cookie cutter design and suggest plants they favor.

When I deal with customers at the garden center I work at, the first thing I suggest is to put your personality into your yard, not someone else's ideas per say.

Do you like certain colors?

Formal or Cottage look?

Native or Exotic?

Know your hardiness zone, often contractors and landscapers will plant something that pushes the envelope and you will pay for it.

Do you want to attract birds, butterflies or other critters?

What about yard art?

Plan and place certain plant needs in the same area (full sun, partial shade, water, dry, low pH etc.)

You will enjoy your gardens more and your plants will thank you.

Great suggestions Ron. I am sort of an eclectic gardener. LOL! I have my veggie garden right smack dab in the middle of the front yard not so much for "eclecticism" but need. It's the only high dry spot on the property. But you are right I always buy exactly what I want and plant for my pleasure rather then an on lookers pleasure. Therefore my yeard is some what "out of order". I also make sure to plant my new friends where they will do well with the conditions. All to many times I see people purchase a plant they like that will not grow well in their yard conditions.
Eclectic is my middle name lol! Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but I guess that in itself is reflective of my personality. Since I had limited space that got sun in my Oregon home I planted my toms and peppers right in amongst my flowers. I planted lemon cukes one year...wouldn't do that again, those puppies spread!

As a waterbaby I will be putting in a water garden this spring. I finally have a yard that will suit :)

Dora/Garden Goddess
My gardens are filled with the plants and colors I love. Since I have all conditions in my gardens (sun/part sun/full shade) I plan for the locations. The South yard gardens are a bit more formal, bold colors (mostly) with a thought to the south neighbors. A mother and Son, 91 and 50 something respectively. The never fail to show up while I am working and never fail to notice a new addition. Delores will even ask if I would show my gardens to her visitors because she is so proud of them also.....My Greek neighbors are very interested in the new veggie beds. They also like to roam the gardens and ask questions about what is growing.
Eclectic is my middle name lol! Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but I guess that in itself is reflective of my personality. Since I had limited space that got sun in my Oregon home I planted my toms and peppers right in amongst my flowers. I planted lemon cukes one year...wouldn't do that again, those puppies spread!

As a waterbaby I will be putting in a water garden this spring. I finally have a yard that will suit :)

Dora/Garden Goddess

I have been trying to plan to add veggies in some of my decorative gardens. Such as lettuce for boarders and broccoli for height. I just have not had the time to really put into action. I do plant onions with my ornamental grasses and it really neat because when you harvest you don't really leave a bare spot!

Good luck on the water garden. I have a 2 stage pond/garden. I was lucky enough to get native plants!
Nature plants and grows in what I call an organized mess and it always looks so nice.

Being creative with veggies in flower gardens is a nice way to maximize space. I'm forever planting and trying different peppers to add color and for eating. Beets and other veggies with colorful foliage work well too.

It makes a person feel good when your organized mess stops traffic.

Had an old neighbor that loved the veiw of my backyard and always showed it off to his friends.

I must admit, he had a different and better view than we had of our yard. Almost made me want to move so I could have his view LOL.

Yards are a work in progress................... I think if us gardeners were truly finished with a yard, we would have to move to statrt over again.

Papa you are right about the color. There is a swiss chard called bright lights and it has several collors and it is beautiful.
I've never been one to worry about pleasing the neighbours. I please myself. My front yard is open and I have shrubs and put out containers. My backyard is privacy fenced for part then totally chainlink fenced for the rest. My immediate neighbours peek through to see my gardens. It's my own private space.
I don't "worry" about pleasing the neighbors but I don't want to totally screw up and become the neighborhood eyesore either. My last garden was mostly in the public view because of how my home was placed on the lot. I had a private backyard but it was pretty small. My new home is a corner lot. It's nice and open and I like that but I am going to be challenged to find a place out of view for my compost heap. I Want to go for an illusion of a private space without ending up with a fortress. There really aren't any privacy fences in the neighborhood so I feel like it would be almost rude to put one up...not to mention very expensive. I'd rather spend the money on plants and yard pretties than an ugly ol fence that keeps my neighbors from enjoying my garden :)

Dora/Garden Goddess
Evergreens make a wonderful friendly fence. They are great at hiding unwanted views, neighbors, compost piles and offer privacy.

Friendly fences also offer protection and nesting sights for birds and help buffet unwanted sounds.

Besides, some subdivisions frown on fencing.


I've thought of evergreens. In my last garden there was a row of arbor vitae along the back. It was so overgrown and just not very attractive. I'm thinking of a more diverse screening effect rather than a total barrier. Experience tells me that as I get out and work in my yard the garden will "design itself". I know it doesn't really design itself it's just that as I work it and think, reflect, the design reveals itself. Ok how hokey does that sound lol! What comes to mind is how sculptures say the statue is in the stone all they do is release it.

Dora/Garden Goddess
My back yard is my private space not many people see it I have a 6ft stockade fence around it, I can spend all day out back and no one knows I home. My front yard is still in the works after 5 years its still not the way I want it, I have a 4ft chain link to keep the dogs out of my flower beds I have 2 lawn areas one is 10x18 that goes to a fern garden the other is round with a red maple in the center, still having a hard time getting thing to grow because of the car oil and other stuff that the last people dumped in the ground but its coming along and I need plants the will live in part shade and sun and little water but what ever I plant will be for the birds to feed from all winter lots of berries and seed heads but I want some thing with color
Yes, Papa Ron,

My garden designs are a big reflection of me wouldn't garden any way.I had to make several adjustments and change stuff due to a *NEW 10feet clearance along the driveway( wont publicize what I truly think of that) but I worked with it and things are completely different but still a reflection of a different part of me *LOL Learning to deal with it as time passes.

Any plants that get along with each other and me I grow. There are quite a few that I do not want to share with my neighbors so I rid my gardens of those, (once I find out because nobody tells a gardener these things) those that will reseed their self everywhere and cause a problem when they grow everywhere.
Some neighbors may enjoy the new plant and just let it go madd. So..having said that, I have no choice but to research every plant and know which to not let go to seed!
I am not too concerned about the neighbors. But like to make a screen saver effect which is interesting to them as they drive by

They sorta know I’m in a world of my own and they leave me there*LOL
I plant annuals, herbs, perennials and veggies everywhere and anywhere I want. I use radish as a boarder, it flowers nicely and keeps some pests away from my favored plants.
Companion planting is the only way to get the most out of small spaces and not have plants kill each other, they will do it too if you let them or just don’t catch them because they sneak under ground without a hint of misbehaving*LOL
My thoughts are…They need their space! Knowing the root system is one of the biggest concerns that have always interested me. Some roots are murder on the gardener and the (neighbors ) plants it comes in contact with. Some will travel quite far from home killing whoever is in their way, with out a care in the world! Some plants' seed will take over mi if let. Some fruit/ berries eaten by birds can take over a town! Buckthorn is everywhere and very hard if possible to get out! Even if you catch it quickly!
Some plants are sweet smelling and behave so well. That is where my roses come in..I have very many and know I can count on every single one to behave. Pest and disease try their power on these cute little innocent roses. That is where I come in with all my friends (little critters and herbs) to help save the rose*LOL
That is my short version..

My garden is certainly just like me, very eclectic, overflowing and somewhat messy. LOL. But it's true. I never seem to have enough hours in the day to get everything done and my arthritis stops me from working too long at a time. I like so many different things and a cottage garden suits me well, so messy fits in with that. If one plant gets big and overtakes another, I just move the overtaken one somewhere else.
I try to think about my neighbors in moderation. I do have several days out of the summer where my yard has a slight stench to it and a ton of flies. I used to worry that my neighbors would be upset by it then one day while hanging my laundry outside the wind changed and all I could smell was the farms up on the hill in the next town. My voodoo lilies shouldnt offend anyone anymore then farm smell. This past summer one of our neighbors got a puppy I didnt think much of it at first afterall we have a 8 foot solid wood privy fence between us. BUT then the puppy got sick on day 3 of the sickness I decided to do some investigating and found where the puppy had dug under the fence and was nibbling on my brugs, peonies, and daylilies. We moved the brugs and said if it continued we would move the other plants. Mind you moving any of these plants is not an easy task they were in the only sunny spot in the yard. Thank goodnees the puppy didnt die and that we are moving to a bigger sunnier yard.
Dora, if the Arb are getting to ugly, consider a hedge row.

A hedge row is a variety of shrubs and small trees planted for birds and makes a good friendly fencetoo.


That's exactly what I'm thinking of :) I was a bit over whelmed as the back of my yard is almost 300 feet then I read a story that suggested planting a "vignette" each year until the whole thing is complete. I though "yeah, I can do that" lol!

Dora/Garden Goddess
I'll be honest and tell you all, I have no sense of imagination when it come to planting things. I just pick a spot, dig a hole and hope for the best. Right now I have a Gardenia bush under my Mimosa tree. Now.. I knew that tree would grow..why'd I do that? I'll be moving a few things later for sure.
I plant where ever I want. Only my brother can see my the bottom part of my yard close to the road, no one can see the front, side or back yards. I do have to be careful where I plant some things cause the deer like to munch. I do have a small fenced in veggie garden so I can have some veggies but lately have been planting them in 1/2 whiskey barrels up by the house and they have been doing well as I can water them better and fingers crossed the deer have not touched them. My flower gardens are over grown. I did try to dig some plants up last yr,broke them apart and sold them for $1 each and made $388.
I've been thinking about making some kind of screening to put in front of my compost bins. One is the round plastic bin and another one is homemade out of chicken wire with a hinged top. They are close to the end of the driveway as my dad brings all their scraps down and I need it close for him but it can be seen by everyone that comes into the yard. I have to be careful too as it's close to where they plow so really can't plant any shrubs in front of it. Was thinking of some kind of moveable screen like is used inside so I can move it in the winter time.
Last edited:
I know we have deer around here too. At least our yard does not back to the tree'd sloughs that run through the neighborhood. I'm hoping it doesn't get too bad with deer eating my plants. I'm considering a screening of that plastic lattice attached to posts sunk in the ground. I want to wait a bit and consider what my work path end up being. Perhaps get them set up in time for the autumn yard debris.

Dora/Garden Goddess is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to