Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Friday, September 30, 2011

Dealing With Mature Landscaping

Our recent move has resulted in dealing with somewhat mature landscaping as far as the ornamental garden beds.  This presents a few problems.  First, we have no idea of knowing what spring or fall plants may be there so it is hard to consider those when it comes to replanting.  Second, any mature landscaping locks the gardens and even tree placement into the vision of the previous own, not you the new owner.

Sometimes in this situation it is better to go with a good clean-out first, removing everything from the garden beds you don't want or that needs to be transplanted to a more suitable location.  At this stage it does pay to be somewhat brutal providing you have identified the plant to ensure it is one that you definitely do not want.  If you need help identifying a plant, take a picture to show your local nursery or contact your local gardening club or even a neighbour.  A good picture can even help you identify a plant or tree online via a Google image search.  Once the plant has been identified, decide whether you want it or not based on it's attributes and growth pattern.  A plant or tree that is too large for one location may be a gorgeous asset in another.

Systematically go through the beds removing weed and unwanted or problematic plants.  Mark any plants that need to be transplanted at a later date as some transplant better in one season verses another.  Weeds that have not gone to seed can be put into the compost.  In our area it is best not to put weeds like bindweed into the compost where they can easily root and spread.  Do not put weeds like poison ivy, poison oak, or Giant Hogweed in the compost or burn pile.  Avoid any contact with the skin that can cause severe allergic reactions.

Next remove any existing mulch if necessary or redistribute if it is in fairly good condition.  While doing this check for any signs of insect infestation (eg. carpenter ants, pill bugs, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, earwigs and etc.).   Caulk any cracks around windows or doors at or near ground level.  Treat with diatomaceous earth to prevent infestations from snails, earwigs and those types of insects.  Depending on your location and preference replace your mulch.  I have had excellent results with cedar wood chips that have natural insect repellent properties.  The beds are now ready for replanting if desired.

An option to planting in the ground it to use a combination of planting in stylish containers to accent the existing plants in the garden that you choose to keep.  I have seen some gorgeous combinations!  You can even add a small water feature to greet visitors to your home.  This is a good time to add in a few solar powered accent lights as well.  Don't forget a gnome or two for good gardening luck!

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome


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