Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Taking my own advice (re gardening)

I've found doing landscape consultations both fun and rewarding (interesting, too).

What I love to do is help encourage people to consider all of their "needs" in their landscape (they're all SO different), but most importantly, I find, is to encourage them to focus on what kind of gardening they enjoy and what kind of garden welcomes them home.

We don't want to come home to containers or perennials that need watering ASAP, that's for sure, or have the same niggling weedy mess in the corner to look at, or the outdated pot collection.  Decluttering and editing in the garden is a process that rewards dividends.

So, in our Piedmont garden (1.5 acres) converted from lawn to natural landscape, it's now careened into something that I feel is totally overgrown after 20 years, but beautiful still.

I've realized that absent my gardening companion (while writing two books) over the last decade, I simply haven't thought about dealing with all of the shrubs!  Some of them have gotten really big. So, what do I do now?  Especially after a summer away, with another garden to tend, and just another academic year here.

Well, I follow my own advice. 

I don't think about what it "used" to look like, and envision cleaned up spaces.

view from my study
I work through the garden in phases, from the areas near the many large shrubs (which are perfectly attractive, to be sure), tidy up the borders, the main vegetable garden area (aargh), and do the equivalent of bush-hogging the front meadow.

Hmrhph.  I'll take a photo of the "meadow" and post it -- it's common milkweed and river oats now.  Yikes.

I clean up all of the weedy bits, celebrate the nice stuff, and enjoy the views from my study, porch, and front windows.

the front meadow (looking like a meadow)


  1. I have thought of our conversations in OR and looking at my garden, I just shake my head. I still like the idea of containers....though this time of year I really dislike the extra watering needs. I have so many underground critters that the confines of a pot sound enticing.

  2. The sheer weediness of everything was really getting me wound up, but...it was so helpful to come back yesterday from a landscape consult and reflect on what I'd say to myself as a "client"!


Please share your thoughts. I enjoy hearing from fellow nature observers, as well as whomever else drops by.

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