How to use Pinterest to define your garden style

pinterest as a design tool

Until recently, my gardening style could be defined as ‘short attention span’ or ‘easily distracted.’ Every time I read a garden book or magazine, saw a new garden, or even stopped by the nursery, I’d end up going off in some new direction. And it showed in my garden. Impulse buys awkwardly placed, clashing containers, Asian style in one corner, English in the other, high maintenance planting schemes gone awry.

Pinterest has been huge for me. At first, I pinned everything I liked. As the novelty wore off and I became more selective, I noticed my boards were telling me something. Now, I can look at my Garden board (or my Clothes board) and see a fairly consistent look, and a garden design tool to boot.

If you want to use your Pinterest board as a design guide vs. simply inspiration, here are some guidelines:

  1. Impose limits. Your garden is full of limits: size, climate, soil, budget. Use those to focus.
  2. Pin what you can afford. I don’t have thousands of dollars for furniture or fountains, tens of thousands of dollars for new hardscaping, or a vast country estate.
  3. Pin a garden that’s out of your reach, IF there is an idea, plant, or element that is within your reach.
  4. Pin what grows in your climate. I live in the bay area, so technically I can grow almost anything. But it literally does not rain from May to October, so California natives or Mediterranean climate plants are the way to go around here.
  5. Pin what grows in your soil. I love desert gardens. But I am far too lazy to amend my heavy clay soil.
  6. Pin plants and gardens at the level of maintenance you can handle. For me that means no English perennial borders, intensive pruning, or containers that need daily watering.
  7. Pin only those images you truly love, the ones you can’t stop looking at. You may not gain as many followers that way, but you will see your style emerge pretty quickly.