One of the things I appreciate about having my gardens open in September for the benefit of a local non-profit is that it pushes me to get out and do some of those little garden tasks that make the difference between tired and terrific. It’s only natural that as we near the end of the growing season we run out of steam, but if the gardener doesn’t do some tweaking at this time of year the landscape can look more weary than the landscaper. A couple of hours in the garden doing some cleanup, cutback and deadheading works wonders. Here is what I recommend for your weekend project:
I was first introduced to the United Solutions company when I attended P. Allen Smith’s Garden to Blog 2014 event at his gardens in Little Rock last May. But when United Solutions sent me a sample tote to try I have to say that I was immediately taken with the fact that this is a light-weight, versatile basket. I adjusted the checkerboard handle to fit my body, strapped it on and went into my flower beds. Since the basket wasn’t heavy and it went easily over my shoulder I didn’t have to move back and forth to drop the daylily and Echinacea stems into a container…the basket was right there at my hip at all times.
At this time of year gardeners should be clipping down daylily stems and cutting down any perennial that doesn’t have good looking foliage. Don’t be afraid to cut down browned, bug eaten or otherwise unattractive plants except for those that are “woody” such as lavender. Peonies often start to decline in late-August, and these can be cut completely to the ground without hurting the plant. Basically, if the foliage doesn’t look like it’s actively photosynthesizing, it has retired for the season and there’s no harm in removing those leaves and stems. This often opens up areas where fall annuals such as kale, cabbage, Snow Princess Lobularia and pansies can be planted. A couple of hours in your gardens this weekend will result in a beautiful landscape going into fall and winter…even if your garden’s aren’t going on tour, as mine are!
You can get the hands free tote in several colors including black!