Bang For Your Buck
A garden is a wonderful investment that offers endless rewards and enjoyment. It can increase the value of your home, extend the square footage of enjoyable living space and offer a great place to unwind and relax with family and friends. Like any investment, your garden requires monitoring and upkeep to keep it at its best.
Fear not however, paying attention to your garden does not have to break the bank. There are five inexpensive things you can do in your space that will provide a huge impact, visual or otherwise, in the upkeep of your garden.
Divide Perennials. You may have noticed that some of your perennials are becoming overgrown and sparse looking, making your garden seem untidy. Congratulations! You are about to double your money while performing some much needed “housecleaning”. Dividing perennials will control their size thereby keeping your garden from looking messy and overgrown, will increase the vigour and health of the plant, will increase quantity and quality of blooms, and provide you with multiple new plants for free! Take advantage and plant them in other needed areas of your garden, at the cottage, or share them with friends and family. Repeat as necessary. That is a lot of return on an initial investment. For more information on how and when to divide your perennials, please refer to our June 2007 article Division and Propagation Techniques.
Add Mushroom Compost. Over time the soil in our garden beds can wash away or become depleted of valuable nutrients. Adding composting material, such as mushroom compost, to your garden on a regular basis can enhance soil structure and help to replenish your garden beds with the essential nutrients that are required for the ongoing health of your plants. A healthy plant is an attractive plant!
Mulch. If you have not done so yet, add 2-3 inches of mulch to your garden beds. Visually this will help to unify your garden beds and will instantly tidy up the look of your garden. On top of the immediate improvement to the aesthetics of your garden, you will also be rewarded with more free time, as adding mulch will help your soil retain moisture and reduce the amount of weeds that grow. Less time spent weeding and watering means more time to sit back and relax. The rewards of this step greatly surpass the expense. If you already had the foresight to mulch your garden beds, chances are it is now time to replenish, as organic mulch will break down over time. The good news is that this can add valuable nutrients to your soil.
Prune Trees and Shrubs. The proper pruning of the trees and shrubs in your garden will do much the same as division will for your perennials, but will have even more impact due to their size. Pruning your trees and shrubs will keep them vigorous, healthy and will prevent them from becoming overgrown. In turn, your garden will continue to look fresh and vibrant as opposed to overgrown and tired looking. Not quite sure how to go about pruning? Refer to our March 2008 article Rejuvenating or consider hiring Rockcliffe Landscaping, which leads me to...
Consider Hiring a Professional. You consult financial professionals about your monetary investments so it makes sense to consult a landscape professional about your landscape investment. Whether it be to perform the previous tasks mentioned or to just get some advice, do not underestimate the benefits of hiring a landscape professional. They come with a wealth of knowledge and can offer expert advice on the best ways to improve your garden. Let’s face it, you have invested time and money into your landcape and you do not want it to go to waste. You also don’t want to make any decision or mistakes that may cost you more than necessary. Think that your overgrown garden needs a complete overhaul? This may not be true. Consulting a professional who may just feel that a few key elements need to be addressed may save you far more than the cost of the expert’s fee.
A garden is like the home in many respects. It is an investment that requires ongoing attention and maintenance to ensure its upkeep. Weeding and watering alone will not keep your garden at its best. The good news however is that investing in these simple garden improvements will offer you exponential rewards guaranteeing your gardens health and beauty, and will save you the expense of a complete overhaul later on down the road.