5 Ways to Simplify and Enjoy Your Summer Garden. Includes tips from a DIY gardener to make your gardening chores easier and quicker.
Simply put, gardening can be work…or it can be fun and relaxing. At one point in my life, quite a while ago, gardening was a chore I disliked, and it exhausted me. However, I knew it was not something I could just stop doing. We owned a house, and we had to take care of the yard. I decided several years ago to embrace the responsibility, but I also decided that changes had to be made in regards to how I managed the garden chores. In other words, I had to simplify the process. Here are 5 ways to simplify and enjoy your summer garden…from this DIY gardener who pretty much figures everything out on her own!
5 Ways to Simplify and Enjoy Your Summer Garden
1. Plant perennials.
Deciding to plant perennials was a light-bulb moment for me. Every May, I would trudge to the garden center and purchase flats of annuals. I planted them, which was a chore, and then had to maintain them for the rest of the summer. About twenty years ago, I decided enough was enough. I did not buy even one single flat of annuals.
Instead, I bought perennials.
I had a patch of yard along my neighbor’s fence that I made into a perennial garden. It’s been a labor of love, and not everything has survived. There’s clematis, peonies, and dianthus. Along the way I planted lavender, allium, and black eyed Susans. Last year, we moved some plants around to accommodate a smaller patio, so some daylilies were added. It’s always changing and evolving, and that keeps things interesting.
You might be thinking to yourself that planting perennials sounds like a lot of work…and it can be. The difference is that it’s not a one time thing. The flowers come back year after year…and if there is a summer that you, for whatever reason, don’t plant anything, you will still have blooms. There have been many summers where I haven’t planted one single thing!
Every year I’m tempted to buy some annuals. I stand there at the garden center and look at all of them, but in the end, I always walk away. The only place I use annuals, occasionally, is in containers on my front porch or patio. My landscaping is a mixture of low-maintenance shrubs and perennials. A little spring clean-up, and a fresh layer of mulch are all it needs.
2. Consider plant maintenance.
30 years ago when we moved to Sutton Place, I inherited giant hosta plants, but little else in the way of thriving landscape…and hardly any grass due to a yard full of trees. I kept all the hosta, and slowly added low maintenance plants like hydrangeas, daylilies, slow growing evergreen bushes, and boxwood. Everything planted around our house is basically care-free, and requires little or no maintenance.
3. Keep a garden hose handy.
Gardening and watering go hand-in-hand. You really can’t have a successful garden if you neglect your watering responsibilities. The thing to do to simplify the process is to strategically place hose stands in convenient places. Definitely have one in the front and one in the back. When I got the hose stand for my backyard, my life suddenly became much easier! No more dragging the hose around the house. No more coiling it on the ground. A hose stand keeps your hose clean and ready to use.
4. Plant in containers.
Container gardening is, in my opinion, the best of both worlds. You can have a legitimate garden, yet it’s half the work of gardening in the ground. Would I like to have lovely raised beds? Yes, actually I would. The problem is that I can’t do something like that on my own. I don’t have the skills or the tools (or the energy!) So, in the past, I lined our deck with all sorts of vintage containers and started planting. It was fun, there was hardly any clean-up, and it was budget-friendly. Since our deck is now gone, and I’m working with a much smaller area, using containers adds interest and color to an otherwise plain space.
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5. Purchase the proper, time-saving tools.
Here are my go-to, can’t-live-without garden tools. I own and highly recommend each one.
- Worx Cordless Blower: my dad bought me this blower, so I would have an easier time of keeping our porch and patio clean. It is the handiest little thing ever. It’s not the most powerful, but it’s perfect for small jobs and quick clean-ups. I keep it hanging on a hook right outside my back garage door. I can just grab it and go.
- Mini Garden Rake: sometimes called a shrub rake. This mini rake is such a time saver. Leaves tend to blow in and under everything. This little rake gets under bushes and behind the air conditioning unit. I could not live without it.
- Garden Hose Stand: I already talked about the hose stand. (This is similar to the one pictured above.)
- Hand Cultivator: the cultivator is sort of like my best friend. It fluffs the mulch and rakes away any weeds.
- Garden Hose Wand: a hose wand is, simply put, amazing. It gently waters herbs and vegetables, but can also reach down into a bed of thick Black-eyed Susans. One tool for many needs.
So there you have it. Even if you don’t agree with my methods, you have to admit they do simplify the process. If you love to plant annuals, go for it! I just couldn’t do it anymore…but truth be told, I am always tempted by the pink geraniums!
Thank you so much for stopping by…see you soon!