As summer’s yard work draws to a close, I offer the following garden-related “notes-to-self” that have been scribbled in my journal during the season.
- Consider and then use the best available tool for any given task.
- Don’t cut corners in any task, large or small.
- Learn about the form of root systems of undesirable plants, the better to eliminate them.
- When pruning, eliminate dead, weak, and crossing shoots/branches. Be mindful that any cut made will determine the leading edge of new growth. Try to visualize the direction the new growth will take. Cut to encourage growth into outward-inclined free space.
- No two plants can thrive in the same exact location. Choose one. Carefully extract the other. (See item #4, above.)
- Mulch, and mulch again.
magnolia, with hardy geranium ground cover
REFINING THE DESIGN
- Think big, pay attention to tiny details. Be on the lookout for surprises.
- Allow room for growth.
- Build into the design some tolerance for chaos. Selectively groom to let in happenstance.
- Cut losses with too-far-gone plants or schemes.
giant fern, unfurling
- Note the cycle of patience punctuated by decisive action.
- Observe with focus.
- Stand back regularly, and take the long view.
- Pace self.
- Slow down. Patience is a goal.
- Stop and smell all of it.
All photos by Laura Kraft.
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