Plants foster an appreciation of growing, living, thriving, reproducing and dying. For me, the outdoor landscape of a home is more than improving “curb appeal.” Of course, I appreciate the beauty of a manicured yard and botanical perfection, but what I notice is the passion that people exude when they work on their gardens. For some, the act of gardening is based in science; for others, it’s a hobby that fills a seasonal need. Still for others, it is about design and self-expression. In any case, gardening, no matter the level, is still gardening.
As we begin the spring season, it is important that we take the time to really think about what worked and what didn’t work in our yards. As we try to get value for every dollar spent, we want to ensure that we purchase healthy plants and place them in an area where they will not just survive, but thrive.
Ask yourself questions like these:
Did you like the color of the zonal geraniums, petunias or other annuals last year?
Did the perennial hosta get too much sun?
Have you seen something in another yard, magazine or on Pinterest that you want to try?
Did you or Mother Nature do some tree trimming this winter? If so, light changes for your beds must be considered. What once thrived in a shady spot will be tortured in an area that is now going to have more sunlight.
Make a plan:
Now is the time to get out the graph paper, pictures of your yard from past seasons, a current picture of the area and start planning. First, identify the location of perennials in the bed. Consider what colors and textures you would like to incorporate this year and start choosing your plants.
Amend your soil, clean away leaves and debris from the winter season and start dreaming. Remove dead annuals from your container gardens and amend that soil as well. It will be great to get a head start on all of the prep work!
Check out your gardening tools and assess their viability for the season. Is the handle of your shovel giving you splinters? It’s time to either sand the handle or get a new one. How about that leaky hose that always has bothered you? Having your lawn mowers and other small engine machines repaired this time of year is easier because the repair shops aren’t busy yet, but in a couple of weeks their schedules will be filling up fast.
As the daylight increases in the evening and we prepare for spring – dig in the dirt! It will feel good to get out there and get some good exercise and it will be fun to be in the midst of spring’s promise.