As the transition into winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere, I have been spending some time reading all the recommendations on preparing your plants and garden to cope with the cold conditions… which got me thinking about change.
It seems that in our quest to ensure that our plants survive winter and our garden is going to look good for the spring ahead, we forget to review what did or didn’t work from either a garden design or performance perspective. Unfortunately as gardeners (and I am guilty of this too) we are often looking at ways to prolong the life of our plants, even when we know there are some aspects of the plant we are unhappy with i.e. color, lack of fragrance, disease issues or, even worse, high levels of maintenance required.
Well, this post is a message confirming that it is OK to decide to not carry over some plants for spring if you are unhappy with them for any reason. There are plenty of alternatives out there which you can use to fill garden space.
Unless you live in Buffalo or those areas hard hit with early snow, now is a great time to take a final walk around your garden and conduct a review of what you did or didn’t like from the past seasons or where there is room for improvement. Once you do that, you can start developing a plan to remove or replace the underperforming culprits and spend the next couple of months researching alternatives to address the shortfalls or plants that you were unhappy with.
This year I removed a number of plants from my own garden because I was unhappy with the lack of fragrance in plantings close to the house and, to be entirely honest, felt the garden design needed to be refreshed a bit with some new color and architectural elements to keep things interesting. And now looking at these gardens at the end of Spring here in Australia, I have to admit I made the correct decision despite the initial uncertainty (call it gardener’s fear / remorse) about replacing some plants for purely selfish reasons when they could have continued to grow in the garden for many years to come.
Unless you are lucky enough to have vast expanses of space available for your garden, I think refreshing the garden to take advantage of opportunities like newer disease-resistant varieties that require less work, brighter color combinations or contrasts, complementary architectural shapes or adding items like lighting, water features or statues to draw the eye or emphasize a particular element are a must for any gardener. It’s often said that “a garden is a constant work in progress” and, like all other aspects of change, the garden presents an opportunity for improvement or a new look.
So now is the time to ask yourself what elements of your garden would you like to change, what has to go and what options are there to improve your garden for the year ahead?
Garden on Good people!