garden home &
Get yourgardenın shape
Early efforts pay off
when summer arrıves
By Laura Langston
WELL;GROOMED GARDENS have tremendous curb appeal. They welcome visitors
and encourage homeowners to get outside
and enjoy their surroundings. But when
spring hits, the garden-prep to-do list can
seem overwhelming. If you take a step-by-step approach to readying your garden, you’ll
be sitting on your deck with a book in one
hand and a drink in the other in no time at all.
Start by assessing the impact of winter.
Check your natural elements (garden beds,
trees, shrubs) and man-made structures
(fences, arbors, water features, compost bins).
Note any damage or dead plants, wear and
tear, and any areas that need attention.
Inventory garden tools, hoses and sprinklers
to see what needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Do a “big picture” spring cleanup. Remove
winter debris such as downed branches and
leaves, and any trash or debris that has blown
in. When the ground has thawed and the lawn
is dry, lightly rake it with a leaf rake (not a
metal-pronged rake), removing loose debris
and looking for damage.
Set aside time to clean tools. Make sure
shears and secateurs are sharpened so you’re
ready to prune.
Prune. Deciduous trees and shrubs prefer
to be pruned when they’re dormant (late win-
ter–early spring), and it’s easier to see the
branch structure then too. Flowering trees
and shrubs such as forsythia, weigela, bridal
wreath spirea and lilac should be cut back
after flowering, advises Cass Turnbull, author
of Cass Turnbull’s Guide to Pruning (Sasquatch
Books, 2005) and founder of PlantAmnesty.
But if a branch, vine or shrub is damaged or
blocking windows or entranceways, prune it
now regardless of its type.
Laura Langston gardens on Vancouver Island,
B.C., where spring comes so early she sometimes starts cleaning her garden before the
holiday decorations are put away.
MARCH 2013 ;e Costco Connection 43
The Costco Connection
Members will find pruners, hoses, sprinklers,
composters, fertilizer, rain barrels, plants and
more at Costco and on Costco.com.