“Wow, what a beautiful garden!” How often have you expressed this view after observing the wonderful vista in front of you? Do you long to create the same magic in your own home garden so that you become the envy of your friends and neighbors? Well, here’s how:
(1) The basic mistake made by self-gardeners is not finding out correct details about the plants they purchase for their home garden. By this, I do not mean going into the botanical details about each and every shrub or tree! What I mean is inquiring about their growing habits. How tall will they be when fully grown? How far can the roots spread?
(2) People with large home gardens tend to forget that plants are also living things and grow up into tall shrubs and trees! Without a thought, they tend to put trees too close to the house or plant shrubs just under the windows. Can you imagine what will follow?
(3) Like growing children, these small shrubs and trees also grow year by year. Being too close to the house and having no place to spread, the roots of large trees may damage water as well as sewage lines by penetrating the foundation of the house. Your gardening expenses therefore go up, what with having paid for the plants themselves plus having to spend on costly repairs. The ultimate disaster is when you have to cut down the entire tree, despite having had it for so many years!
It is the same story with shrubs. Though their roots cannot destroy foundations, still the plants grow tall enough to prevent sunlight from entering the windows. You yourself will not be able to view your garden from within the house!!
(4) Timing is equally important. Yes, there is a proper season for planting young shrubs and trees in your home garden – it is late fall, when the roots are able to grow strong and healthy. Summer is a definite no-no where planting of new trees is concerned!
(5) “God, I am dying of thirst!” Well, shrubs and trees are also living things which require a certain quantity of water daily for their survival. They should not be under-watered nor over-watered, especially when young. In fact, a garden which has received more than sufficient water in the spring and summer, thrives during freezing winters too; much better than plants which have received less water.
(6) Do you trim your nails when they grow too long? What about hair and beard? They also undergo regular trimming to give a neat appearance. Well, plants also tend to grow wildly unless kept under control. Fall is the season for pruning vines and shrubs. This not only ensures proper growth, but also makes sure that there is good airflow. The result is better-looking plants in springtime.
The tips mentioned above may give the feeling that it is all too much work for one person alone! I agree. Creating a home garden is indeed tough work! But remember, working with your hands goes a long way in ridding you of everyday stresses and burdens. Even therapists agree that it is a wonderful way to do both, relax as well as exercise. No more daily trips to the gym! And what a great sense of achievement at the end of it all!
For the increasing number of Americans utilizing “home gardens” as a pastime and hobby today, the visual treat produced is more than enough reward for all their efforts!