|An English garden can be a lot of work,|
or plant choices can be modified to
use easier perennials and more shrubs.
If the lawn looks green, call it good. A golf course may look attractive but the time, money and chemicals needed to achieve and then maintain it just aren’t worth it. Stop being such a perfectionist! Maybe you don't need a lawn at all?
Get help when you need it. Establish a budget; decide how many hours help you can afford per week then find the right person to do the heavy duty jobs. Leave yourself the creative, fun things but let someone else climb the ladders to prune the roses (or better still replace the roses with something that doesn’t need tying in, deadheading, pruning and spraying).
|Roses are beautiful - but are you willing |
(or able) to coddle them?
Make lists. A Master list of what you would like to accomplish during the next year will help keep you focused. A more immediate ‘to do’ list will enable you to do quick simple tasks when you have a few minutes available, and then get the satisfaction of checking that off the list. (I have been known to write something on my list just so I can cross it off!) These lists will also help you communicate effectively with garden help and make the most of their time.
Pick your battles – managing mature plants. Plants grow. They also do not read the labels which say ‘mature height 10’. Mature by whose standards? After how many years? When something gets too big for its allotted space and begins to become a maintenance nightmare it’s probably time to cut it down or take it out. Larger varieties of groundcover junipers are a case in point. When they start to swallow small passing children – get rid of them. (The junipers, not the children).
'Rozanne' geranium makes the list, thanks to
its long bloom time and non-promiscuousbehavior!
Phlox and self seeding varieties of hardy geraniums weren’t worth battling with so will give way to better behaved geraniums such as ‘Rozanne’ and variegated weigela. The moles make sure we never consider ‘lawn’ a possibility – we think more in terms of varying degrees of pasture and meadow. And I’m trying hard to choose the ‘right plant for the right place’; deer and rabbit resistant, drought tolerant (our well water is a precious commodity) and appropriate size.