by Susan Caplan McCarthy
May - Get Ready for Summer
Until I bought a house five years ago, I was someone who liked looking at gardens but never had an interest in gardening. However, my yard was boring. There were a few shrubs and overgrown day lilies along the front of the house and a half-dozen hosta around the deck. And grass. Lots of grass.
I’ve gained an appreciation for the planning and forethought that goes into creating a garden. After some willy-nilly choices, my focus now is on filling in spaces with clusters of favorite plants to create a simpler but colorful garden.
What is your goal for your garden? Is it a space where the act of gardening is your meditation? Is it a space to entertain? Do you cultivate plants that allow you to cut beautiful blossoms to share with the people in your life?
Start in the Shed
If you have a small shed, pull everything out, sorting similar items together as you go. On the other hand, if you have a large shed that is packed to the ceiling, you may need to declutter and make decisions as you pull items from the shed.
Declutter Your Garden
If you have plants that didn’t grow as well as you thought, pull them up and toss them in your compost, move them to a new location in your yard, or offer them to a new home. It can be difficult to admit that a tree or shrubs grew in a way that you aren’t very fond of but allowing them to grow taller or wilder won’t improve them.
And, if you have plants that grew a little too well and have started encroaching on other areas, pull up the extra and toss them in your compost, move them to a new location in your yard, or offer them to a new home.
If you have an area that used to be a vegetable garden, but you’re no longer up to the work, consider if you want to convert the space to a wildflower meadow or plant grass seed.
Plants that require more effort than you can give them may no longer belong in your garden. You can offer them to anyone willing to dig them out of the ground.
Check the condition of your garden ornaments. If they are broken, damaged, faded, or otherwise don’t add a joyful element to your garden, it’s time to let them go. Also, if you find that you have too many decorations that leave your garden feeling cluttered, remove your least favorite and notice how the space feels. Keep removing these decorations until you feel they are an accent to your garden instead of overwhelming the space.
Don’t forget to clear areas like your porch, patio, or deck, so you have a relaxing place to sit and appreciate your beautiful garden.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm a professional organizer-coach with 26 years' experience as a teacher. I believe that an organized home isn't your destination but a step on the path toward the life you want to create. I teach decluttering and organizing skills through articles; books; and speaking engagements; as well as virtual coaching sessions.