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Landscaper tip: John MacMillan of Louisiana Nursery gives the scoop on planning a garden

Lush beds filled with bright flowers. Blossoming rose bushes lining the house. Gardening is your chance to bring all the vibrancy of your interiors to the outside of your home. However, for those of us who are not avid gardeners or those looking to get started, fear not. John MacMillan, assistant manager at Louisiana Nursery, breaks down the basics and offers a few helpful tips.

MacMillan says many people often make a few key mistakes when planning a new garden space.

“Whether you are planting a flower garden, herb garden or vegetable garden or landscaping around your home, the success of your plants will largely depend on your soil base. All too often I hear people say, ‘I need a bag of topsoil to plant these plants,'” says MacMillan. “Topsoil is not intended to be used as a planting base for any plants except grass seed or sod.”

What you’re really after, MacMillan says, is garden soil. It’s darker in color, lighter in weight and composed mainly of bark. This is the base for your beautiful, healthy garden.

Making sure you choose plants that are compatible is another one of MacMillan’s tips. For example, choosing plants that have similar light and water requirements helps make for an easy, cohesive garden.

When it comes to the style and layout of the garden, however, the possibilities are endless. Whether you choose to mix colors and styles or stick to the same theme, the main thing is to have fun with it and think outside of the box. If you want to spice it up, add vegetables and fragrant herbs that are not only fun to watch grow, but make for more fun in the kitchen.

“Don’t feel intimidated if you are new to gardening,” says MacMillan. “Choose plants that you are attracted to and plants that you will be happy to look at every day.”

For more info on Louisiana Nursery, visit