Friday, September 15, 2017

Why Laying the Bones of your Garden is so Key

As I view the gardens of friends and customer's who hired me to weed for them, I realize even seasoned gardeners make mistakes. The mistakes are those mentioned in my previous post, of planting an invasive species in too small an area, or just planting it to begin with; the first two years look terrific, then the stuff is wandering into your lawn and swallowing up the space of other plants.

What I Wish I Did First…

For the new homeowner faced with a first time yard, or maybe a second time homeowner facing a bigger yard than before, the urge to fill the area with color is strong. Having a third of an acre for the first time in my life, I gave into the urge.  I over-spent and made mistakes. I wish I laid out the "bones" of my yard first instead of running to nurseries and purchasing colorful shrubs, flowers and herbs.

What Do I Mean by "Bones"

By "bones' I mean investing in border evergreens to offer us more privacy and to block the view of neighboring businesses as well as muffle their sound, plus it would establish boundaries with a neighbor who's junker car was actually parked on our land. We thought this area was his, until the town put markers in and we realized it's time to trim and mow the area ourselves.

 When You Can Forego a Privacy Screen

Establishing boundaries with evergreen trees, or decorative fence, ornamental grass etc. is essential and greatly improves one's property value. However, we're also so lucky to have a really nice neighbor bordering our other side, the landlord graciously allowed me to put in an area garden where he chopped down blighted trees, and his tenant and tenant's girlfriend graciously supplied me with some free plants to add to my layout. If you have such a neighbor like us, one can waive the privacy screen for an area garden.

 A Privacy Screen Could've Helped Them…

 There's a house in our neighborhood, a gorgeous Victorian that's been on the market for too long, the price has dropped three times, and yet homes all around town in the same price range are selling like hotcakes. The owners have a gorgeous zen-like garden they painstakingly doted over. But the gorgeous layout didn't include planting trees to block a parking lot and neighboring business that borders their backyard, nor did they mask their dumping ground of tossed broken branches they piled up by the adjacent business's chain link fence. We've watched potential buyers wander to the back to stare at the unfortunate view, and this has gotta be a deal breaker.

Laying Down the Bones of the Yard Gives You Clarity 

Had we lined our yard boundaries with some Green Emerald Arborvitae, It would've been easier for me to visually map out some area gardens, as the yard wouldn't look like an overwhelming expansive blank canvass in desperate need to fill up with beautiful flora. Case in point, I tried to create a "berm" last year, it flattened out on me. I wanted a raised zen-like Hosta and ornamental grass garden.  So I plowed ahead despite the non-berm happenstance, and planted a variety of Hostas and ornamental grass. The plan failed, I was so anxious to fill an area, that I didn't think things through, the Hostas didn't take to the area although they do well in other parts of our yard.  So all that labor and expense was wasted and I pulled the plants. Now it's a bald patch of mulch, putting up bordering trees or an attractive fence panel–would've  looked pretty and blocked the view of the neighbor's garage, thus no need to urgently fill the area with "stuff".

And Finally Getting Around to IT

So six years in, we're finally budgeting to take down the scraggly trees–all of 'em belong to us– lining our yard's border.  I've stared at these ugly bushes for too long, one shrub is dead, and two are invasive, deciduous shrubs and I'm tired of raking leaves, how I wish we took care of this from the get-go, but I just had to HAVE those flowers first. Lesson learned.