Sunday, June 23, 2013

Making Gardens Last, Part 1


Why does one wildflower garden thrive while another becomes weedy, unbalanced, and eventually gets mowed down? Here are some reasons why this garden at the corner of Linden Lane and Spruce Street has thrived:

  • The plants are well adapted to this dry site. Butterflyweed (orange flower), threadleaf coreopsis (yellow), phlox (white), hosta and stonecrop (Sedum spectabile) are all well adapted to an upland location. If they grow well, weeds are shaded out.
  • None of the species are aggressive spreaders, so minimal work is needed to maintain balance.
  • The garden is in the front yard, so a mixture of pride and constant visual reminder insures it will get attention. Weeds will be caught early, before they become a big problem
  • The sidewalk protects it on two sides from invasion by weeds like ground ivy and mock strawberry, and runoff from the sidewalk can provide extra water.
  • Some lasting affection for the plants, or at least knowledge of which plant is which, and affinity is usually behind gaining that knowledge.

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