Garden Joy Weekend

This can be an intense time of year in the garden.  The May long weekend is traditionally a ‘garden work’ weekend.  Many shrubs want to be pruned before they leaf out, the earth is warm and pliable for transplanting, the nubs of hosta are nosing out of the ground with big clusters begging to be split, and the list goes on.  Plus the greenhouses are bursting with goodies.  It is easy to get overwhelmed!  I list what I want to do (I prefer ‘want to do’ lists vs ‘to do’ lists), prioritize it, and get done what I can.  The basic list includes:

  1. Prune as needed – generally for shrubs, summer and autumn bloomers are pruned early spring, and spring bloomers are pruned right after they bloom
  2. Clean beds of bulky debris, matted leaves, weeds
  3. Edge
  4. Transplant, add new plants, split as needed
  5. Add compost or aged manure, top up mulch as needed
  6. Enjoy!

I do about half my clean up in the fall, leaving over winter the plants that provide winter interest and food for the birds.  I don’t want a mat of leaves on the ground once spring sprouting starts, but I do leave scattered leaves.  The best is to use gloved hands to crunch and tear the leaves into pieces.  Then let the worms do the work for you, returning nutrients to the soil.  If time, I will chop old stems and debris as natural mulch, but do discard any diseased or moldy sections.  Annuals can be planted out, however you will need to monitor for frost warnings, and cover to protect them if needed.  Everything doesn’t have to be done in one weekend.  Instead of this long weekend being a ‘garden work’ weekend, make it a ‘garden joy’ weekend!  Above are the larger sections of my garden in spring mode – cleaned of debris but not yet edged or mulched, and some pruning still to finish…




Posted on May 15, 2014 and filed under Guidance, Inspiration.