Summer Gardeners-Take a Break!
As we melt into August, it's time to take a break.Grab a glass of icy refreshment and take a look at your lawn and garden. Late summer is a perfect time to take an inventory of what's going well and what you'd like to change.
Maybe that plant that called out to you at the garden center, just isn't working for you.Toss it or give it away. It's okay to change your mind; your garden should give you pleasure. Do you want more color or different shades of the color that you already have? Using annuals is an inexpensive way to experiment without the commitment of perennials. Adding a large, bright orange container may be just the highlight that your shade garden needs.Leave it unplanted as a sculptural form or turn it into a fountain.
If the idea of mowing your lawn has begun to fill you with dread, make a change. An alternative would be to expand your perennial beds a foot or two. The result would be less lawn to mow and an invitation to pollinators. Lay down a couple of layers of paper grocery bags, cover with compost and garden soil, top with mulch, and wait for spring. The grass will have died and your bed will be ready for new plants.
Ahh, yes, NEW plants! Plan now for next spring and get a little adventurous. Search out a new plant that is just out of your planting zone. If you're in zone 4, try a zone 5 plant. Chances are, with the proper placement, you'll be successful. The price of a perennial is worth the bragging rights when it flourishes!
And speaking of bragging rights, now's the time to browse the bargain tables at your local garden center. Most people walk right past those bedraggled, half dead looking plants. Those lonely containers often have a lot of life left in them. Below is a Black Lace Elder that was looking grim and sold for well below a bargain price. The result after three years is quite wonderful!
Sit back, take another sip, and breathe in and out slowly. Enjoy what you've created and dare to make it better.