By Teresa Woodard
Graduation parties, garden weddings and backyard family reunions – there’s nothing like a milestone event to motivate you to get your garden in peak shape. For me, the planning for our daughter’s graduation party started a year ago when I took a closer look at what was blooming in our landscape in late May. At the time, it seemed rather green and lacking some flowers, so I decided to add some late-blooming allium bulbs to our boxwood hedge and plant some poppy seeds in our meadow.
While the allium bulbs bloomed on command, the poppies lagged behind. Still, the impending event deadline pushed us to weed, trim, prune, edge and plant ahead of our typical spring schedule. As the event date drew closer, we checked off more and more gardening chores. Yes, some weeds still snuck by us but we were able to get the garden in good shape to share with friends and family. Now, we’re hoping the early work will give us a chance to rest and enjoy the garden for a few weeks. That is, until we start planning for our second daughter’s graduation in 2014.
In the meantime, here are some journal notes on lessons learned:
- Start container baskets a month in advance to allow them to fill in better.
- Sow more seeds for spring-blooming flowers (e.g., poppies and larkspurs) in the meadow. Try planting in October instead of February.
- Embrace the landscape’s peak elements for that season and make them look their best (e.g., the lush spring lawn, the boxwood hedge and the blooming shrubs)
- Block out days for garden chores, so we don’t get overwhelmed with last-minute work.
- Welcome friends’ gracious offers to help.
- Enjoy the successes and accept the imperfections.