Although it’s still winter here in Georgia, spring will be here before you know it! It’s the perfect time to start thinking about your garden. Southern Living‘s expert horticulturist and garden advice columnist, Erica Glasener, offers 6 easy steps to improve and enhance your garden right now:
1. Hire a garden designer to draw up a plan for your garden or garden renovation.
Take photos of your garden before, during and after you make changes (adding and removing plants), and in every season. These photos will document events that occur over time; so you can decide where you want to make additions or deletions. They will also show you how quickly change occurs and plants grow. Use this plan as a guide for the New Year when choosing new plants for your landscape. Knowing which plants will thrive (right plant, right place) can save you time, money and disappointment.
2. Add some evergreen structure: Winter is the perfect time to evaluate the layout and design of your garden.
Once deciduous trees and shrubs shed their leaves (with the exception of beech trees and a few others that hold on to their foliage until early spring) you can see the framework of your garden. Are there evergreens that enhance the space and provide enclosure? They don’t have to be tall, even waist-high shrubs will help define your garden space and serve as a backdrop for your herbaceous plants. Now is a good time to add shrubs and trees to your garden. Don’t forget to water if it doesn’t rain. Remember too, small plants that are container grown will quickly catch up with larger sizes that are balled and burlapped.
3. Feed your soil. Spread a layer (about 1 inch thick) of compost in your garden beds. Keep it away from stems and trunks. Your plants will thank you with lush, healthy growth in the spring.
4. Reduce the size of your lawn. Enlarge your planting beds.
Once established shrubs and perennials require fewer resources (ie. water and fertilizer) to survive and thrive than turf.
5. Add some fragrance to your garden.
Site fragrant plants along paths or walkways, making it easy to access their perfume. For an evergreen shrub with deliciously scented flowers, try Jubilation Gardenia.
6. Plant some spring bloomers including bulbs, perennials and shrubs. This will give you something to look forward to.
For more tips and planting ideas, visit http://southernlivingplants.com/feature/6_ways_to_improve_your_garden.