In fifteen years, I’ve never met a potential client who asked for a high maintenance garden. Not once! A no maintenance landscape doesn’t exist. Sure there are gardens that will require less maintenance than others but when I mention plastic plants, people seem to cringe. The fact of the matter is, even a garden with plastic plants needs ongoing maintenance. I know because I was asked to maintain one once! The gardens which you see and want in magazines require maintenance. I can tell you from past experience that the long term success of a newly installed landscape will greatly depend on a commitment to the ongoing maintenance program. Without proper care, it doesn’t take very long for a garden to start showing signs of neglect. Without some type of regular human input, any garden will ultimately fail. Timely weeding, deadheading, pruning as well as scouting for insects, diseases and nutrient deficiencies will keep your garden looking its best.
We offer our clients custom detailing programs to suit their needs so they can spend their free time relaxing in their new garden, not working in it. We always recommend our new installation clients use our Keeping Eden service for at least the first 2-3 years as the plants establish themselves. That way you can see what we do, how we do it and what maintenance your garden needs and when. Of course, we would love to maintain our gardens forever. We’ve been disappointed to see some of our gardens taken over by others. It’s disheartening to see a well thought out garden trimmed into a bunch of unnatural shapes by hedge trimmers. We have gardens, that we have maintained since the early 90’s. It is possible to maintain shrubs to a certain height, naturally, without hedge trimmers!
In the same token, gardening surpassed walking as the number one national past time in 2003. After gardening, people find themselves energized and self fulfilled. There is something about digging in the dirt that is intoxicating. It’s a way of life for some. We have plenty of non gardening clients who have the interest to learn basic horticulture techniques and the time it takes to maintain their own property. They’ve gained a new appreciation for nature by asking questions and reading the books we recommend. They’ve gained the self confidence it takes to be successful. All it takes is time, patience and a thirst for knowledge and the stomach for failures. Not catastrophic failures but small blunders through trial and error. Nothing makes me more proud than a client who has become hooked on gardening. A person who takes pride in maintaining their own awesome looking garden. It’s a way of life. Who knows, maybe you could be next!
Below is a basic timeline for a successful garden.
Cutback plants that were left for winter interest
Divide perennials to keep them vigorous
Apply pre-emergent herbicides, if needed, to reduce weed growth
Regular scouting of insects, diseases and other problems
Re-edge beds and apply mulch
Spot spray weeds
Timely deadheading to keep plants tidy and encourage re-blooming
Organic fertilizer application for deer deterrent
Plant health care programs: Healthy start, nutrient deficiencies
Supplemental water during plant establishment and dry periods
Set up of drip irrigation
Dormant oil spraying
Anti-desiccants for winter protection of broad leaved evergreens
Burlap wraps for protection against deer and winter wind
Cutback of herbaceous plants.