When to Rejuvenate your Landscape
With the hustle and bustle of life, it can be very easy to put off yard and garden maintenance. Many people enjoy doing yardwork, but often find that it can be difficult to find the time between working, social activities, and raising a family. We live in a fast-paced culture that leaves us with little flexible time. With the little time we do have, many people don’t want to spend it in the garden, although they would enjoy a tidy, beautiful landscape. With leisure time such a precious commodity, it is easy for landscape maintenance to be neglected.
I have met with many clients who seem to feel guilty about how the landscape looks. They feel the need to explain how or why it looks as it does. I strive to put our clients at ease. I like to let them know I have three kids (all involved in various activities) church and community interests, as well as work and I completely understand. I want everyone to know that we are here to help. Garden rejuvenation is very rewarding to me. I love seeing a landscape go from looking overgrown and neglected to tidy and beautiful in as little as one to two days.
When meeting with a client for a landscape that needs a little (or lot) of TLC, I always make note of what plant material can be kept as is, reused elsewhere in the garden, divided, pruned, or needs to be removed. I believe in keeping as much plant material possible, instead of just clearing everything out and starting over. Unfortunately, there are those times that completely starting over is what is needed. Plants that have certain diseases, or are past being able to be rejuvenated by pruning. Landscape beds where noxious hard to control weeds have taken over, may need to cleared and treated before replanting them.
There can be many reasons the landscape needs an overhaul. Most commonly, the plants were planted too closely together when they were small and cute, but are now competing for space. It is important to have a scaled plan when deciding where plants should go to avoid this.
Over the years landscape trends have changed and now may date the house, or the homeowners are tired of the look. When I started in horticulture design in the 90’s yew shrubs were the rage. Most often yews were planted in hedges along the foundation, or planted in a group of three under the windows at the front of the house. 30 years later, many now look tired from years of improper pruning, or too little pruning. Many have been decimated by deer, suffer from nutrient depletion, or soil compaction. Drought or poor drainage may also have taken a toll on all or some of the plants.
Without a plan or direction in mind, sometimes homeowners are eager to try whatever catches the eye in the garden center. I can be guilty of this myself. I get home with an interesting find, and have to search for a proper space to plant my new addition. Randomly added, single plants can give the garden a chaotic look, instead of a cohesive one.
Some landscapes are in need of a hard pruning. Pruning can make the plants look neat and tidy once again and cause a flush of new growth. This process can take up to three years since only 1/3 of the plant material should be removed at a time for most trees and shrubs.
Many perennials need to be divided or thinned every four to five years. Ornamental grasses die out in the middle of the clump, and some perennials, such as upright varieties of sedum, can get very floppy.
It is an amazing transformation to bring back a tired or neglected landscape. We at The Plant Professionals enjoy working with our clients to accomplish the renovation.