Design articles are always guiding us into the various ways to refresh a room, let's switch it up and do the same for the garden.
This is one of my clients who called asking for some pruning. On my! I personally love to prune when a major renovation is required, believing anything can be re-shaped and saved. While the crew was busy, I pulled out the shears
Can I say mandatory? Looks clean and fresh, represses weeds and retains moisture
Look for the best mulch you can afford, preferably black and fine. We use LEAF mulch, decomposed leaves, rich, black and finely ground. When laid, any mulch will begin to decompose. As wood mulch decomposes, that process robs the soil of nutrients. As leaf mulch goes, it feeds the soil, improving it's texture and adding nutrients
Unless you reside at a Shell station, this is a big NO! Ugly, and the dyes are toxic
3. Stabilize structures and paint if needed
In winter climes, snow and ice takes it's toll on our structures. Examine closely for needed repairs. A fresh coat of paint does wonders!
4. Clean, and/or replace outdoor soft goods
The rug line we carry, Dash and Albert, has a tremendous outdoor collection. New for 2014 is the collaboration with Bunny Williams, above
It can happen.......one day you are bringing home ornamentation, the next you are in a newspaper,
misguided, posing and smiling
Benches, table, fountain, watering cans.......complimentary to each other and tastefully arranged. Look around, what might be redundant, in disrepair......generally employ a good edit
6. Re access your front door
Charming? Massively so if you live in a cottage, in Czechoslovakia.
Enter your home as a guest would, is all clean? Decluttered? In good repair and painted or stained? Outdoor lamps sparkling clean?
Consider a color change, this focal point for your home can be unassuming or exciting
7. Give up on low performing plants
"I hate to kill plants!" I do too. Often as a landscape designer I am both executioner and nurturer. There are times when a plant is simply "taking up space", overgrown and beyond pruning (not too often), a blob, that is it just sits there, offering little
No focus, many blob type plants, all green, no stand-outs and yes, a few weeds
To live in my garden, the criteria is;
must be of appropriate size
must be interesting most of the growing season
must be a strong performer; long bloom, colorful foliage, multi-seasonal interest
This Hydrangea above is the Incrediball, in bloom from early June to frost....nice!
8. Interesting foliage?
Take a close look. Have a section where there is too much green? (disregard if all green is your goal, lovely in a formal setting). Too many leaves of the same size and shape? Insert some of the colorful foliage plants and pay close attention to the shape, mixing it up.
10. Reevaluate your containers
Are they in good order? Remove old soil, which no longer has any nutrients, and refill. How about their style and size, appropriate?
Charming? YES! Appropriately sized? NO, too small
One of our clients. When we designed the gardens, instead of a pair of urns at the front entrance, we placed oversized, statement urns in front of the two front windows. Enjoyed from inside and out, they make a statement as they are planted fresh, four times a year, celebrating each new season.