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Taking Time to Make Time

September 23, 2008

I woke up with “Son of a Preacher Man” stuck in my head (don’t ask) , and that one line is a perfect way to think about autumn in the garden. All my gardening magazines are talking about fall chores and cleanups that you need to do. That’s great and all, but I say don’t get bogged down in what you HAVE to do- start thinking and planning for what you WANT to do! I know one of the things I’m always trying to do is increase my enjoyment of the yard, and decrease the time it takes to maintain it- taking time to make time!

Towards that end, I’ve compiled a list of questions to ask yourself that will help you think objectively about your yard or garden. Then you can sit down with your answers (or take them to your favorite landscape designer!) and plan how you’re going to get more from your garden next year.

  1. Do you feel like your maintenance was more than you want or just about right?
  2. Are there particular problem areas of your yard or garden?
  3. Is there a particular function or activity that you want to be able to do in your yard?
  4. What are your top three priorities or goals for your landscape?
  5. Did any plants cause problems for you?
  6. Did any plants not perform the way you hoped?
  7. Did any plants exceed your expectations?

It’s also a good time to look at your outdoor living spaces. Is all your furniture crammed together on your deck? Are you grilling with a flashlight between your teeth because you need better lighting? Fall is a great time to make the big changes you want in your landscape. Let us come in now, while you’re not using the space, so it’s ready for you in the spring.

Most importantly, dream big! Personally, I have a lot of fall projects in my yard and garden. I have to move a shed, bring in a couple of truckloads of fill, and start fencing my garden to try and exclude the groundhogs who loved this year’s tomatoes. But I’m most excited about building an earth oven, so I can make wood-fired pizzas and crusty breads in my backyard. Your landscape should be a source of fun and enjoyment, not a reminder of what has to be done. So toss those nagging articles about fall chores and give me a call or an email, and let’s start planning the landscape you want.

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