Gardens by Design
By Veronica Russell
Published: 06/17/2011  Updated: 06/20/2019
Linda Brim from Brim's Farm & Garden can help you plan your garden space.
Linda Brim from Brim's Farm & Garden can help you plan your garden space.  Gary Hayes

Great coastal gardens don't just happen. But area garden design experts can help make them happen in your yard.

We've all seen them, those great garden spaces that stop you in your tracks and make you yearn for something more impressive in your own yard. However, the best laid intentions to spruce up your garden spaces can sometimes be derailed due to a simple lack of preparation.

A plan is essential, according to Linda Brim, a Master Gardener and owner of Brim's Farm & Garden center in Astoria. People should begin with having a fairly clear vision of their desired end result. Taking photos of local gardens you love and keeping a collection of magazine articles is a good place to start to form that vision. "It is so easy to fall in love with a beautiful tree, shrub or perennial and end up with no plan and one of everything!" says Brim.

The road to a beautifully manicured garden may seem daunting, but experts like Brim can help you design space that's perfect for your yard and for your lifestyle. It's more than selecting a few plants you love. During an on-site landscape consultation with Brim, expect to discuss issues like soils and drainage as well as levels of maintenance desired and privacy needs. She can suggest plants and soils to use for your perfect garden, and can even recommend licensed landscapers for help with installations, if necessary.

Some garden centers even feature software for garden design that can help homeowners visualize and plan their garden spaces. Dennis' Seven Dees Landscaping & Garden center in Seaside has the Planscaper software that offers yard planning for the overwhelmed gardener. You gather information about your yard and then meet with a landscape designer who can help you come up with a landscape plan, complete with computerized sketches and a materials list. The design fee, which can be in the neighborhood of $500 to $1500, goes toward plants to get you started on your way toward a beautifully designed coastal garden.
Gardens by Design