I spent the afternoon with a group of my favorite friends… my flowers. I did a bit of weeding, pruning and fertilizing. Ahhh… so good for the soul.

Spending some time in the garden also gave me an opportunity to closely examine the plants, determine if any needed to be moved, check for insect and chipmunk damage, etc. Everything is coming along nicely and there are many more blooms just waiting to appear as the season progresses. This is just the beginning!

My gardens consist of perennials only. I do use annuals in containers and hanging baskets, though I haven’t had time to plant a single one this year. I prefer perennials because, once they are established, they almost take care of themselves. They have to be divided occasionally and some of them can get out of control if not monitored. But, overall, they are quite perfect.

Perennials are also easy to share with friends. Just dig a few clumps out of the bed and they will fill back in like nothing ever happened. In fact, since perennials benefit from being divided every few years, they will probably love you for giving them some room to breathe.

I’m a big fan of ground cover, especially in my tree-filled yard. Coaxing grass to grow under the trees is nearly impossible. Why cry? I mean, why try? 🙂 The answer is to work with the shade and the bare spots it creates rather than against it.

Over the years, I’ve created several curved beds around groups of trees and planted pachysandra, vinca, ivy, and snow-on-the-mountain (also known as Bishop’s Weed) in them. Even though these plants spread quickly,  it will be a few more years before mine fill in the way I would like.

One way to help the ground cover spread is to take cuttings, root them, and plant them in the areas you would like them to get established. Another way is to get out there with a shovel, dig a few clumps here and there, and replant them. You’d be surprised by how effective both of these methods are in speeding up the “filling in” process. If these methods seem too laborious, buy 50-200 plants and be done with it, Moneybags!

I’ve been working on these garden beds for about eight years. You’d think I’d be ready to sit back and enjoy a finished product. Nope! Not even close. The gardens continue to evolve, as do I. I’m not a patient person, but gardening has helped me with that. No matter how fast I want my ground cover to fill in or my irises to bloom, they’re going to do it at their own pace. Believe me.


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