As I get older, I lose a little patience with certain aspects of gardening. In my back flower bed, I have had a berm that was lovely for a while. The sumac died. A rose bush died, the quack grass grew rampant, and creeping Jenny disappeared under the weeds. The tulips didn’t bloom anymore. Even the gazing balls couldn’t help save it. Further south and to the east, the place where at one time gorgeous iris grew, quack grass, thistles and morning glory took over. These gardens weren’t neglected mind you. The prolific weeds ganged up and declared war on beauty. Weeds are opportunists and love to survive. So, this spring, being full of optimism and energy, I am fighting back.
Spring is a time to landscape, or in my situation, relandscape. The berm is going. The 2 trees on the outer edges have grown too large and shady for many of the plants there. I will dig up, clean out and replant my perennials that I love else where. The rocks, gazing balls, and bird house have all got to go. Simply put, it’s time to clean it out and plant grass in that little island. It will simplify my mowing and watering.
It’s not a bad thing to change things up. It’s actually quite refreshing. When we step out after a long cold winter, it’s a good thing to look at what is before you with fresh or “new eyes”. At my home, plants, trees, grasses, everything has to earn its way. Sometimes, you never have to change things, but then again….change can be good.
When you undertake drastic measures, consider a few important items. First, look at the microclimate. Usually, on the south side of the house, or southern exposure of a hill, it’s going to be warmer…and in our case August and September…hot. On the north side of the house, it’s going to be cooler. Of course the further from the house shadow, it will change again. In our area, we get hot west winds in the summer. The east side of the house will have morning sun, but be in the shade by early afternoon. Look also to the availability of water. When at all possible, water by soaking and not by sprinkling. Soaking will prevent leaf and burn problems and won’t evaporate as quickly. An interesting thing to note, at Moss’ Greenhouse, you can find plants in sections designated for sun and shade, making it easier to decide what to plant where. That is extremely helpful to the gardener. Consider the activities you want to have. If you want to have a place to relax, then you choose relaxing colors. Blues, purples, whites. If you want to have a place for parties and gatherings, more vibrant colors add to the festivities. Annuals are easy to change each year and can be done to satisfy your changing tastes.
Gardening is a never ending process of change and experimentation. If we’re not battling something, we’re not doing it right. We all need to learn and progress…right? Let the rumpus begin!