Friday, August 24, 2012

Restoring a Neglected Garden

by Lorraine Syratt

A Before Picture
So, you've taken over a garden that has been left to the wars. Weeds have climbed up through unnamed conifers. Ivy is smothering rose canes, and forget-me-nots have taken over the lawn. And while it may suit your romantic gardening tastes, it isn't subtle and it may annoy the neighbors. Where do you begin? As the good witch said in The Wizard of Oz, it's always best to start at the beginning.

Restoring a neglected garden is hard work. It takes time, as well as an understanding of the plant material that is in the garden. When gardens become neglected, weeds appear and growth patterns change. All the "good" garden plants become leggy because they are competing for the sun. Since weeds grow faster than most "good" plants, the "good" plants work hard to keep up, but they often lose the battle. That said, it isn't just the weeds that cause havoc in a neglected garden. Many good plants will indeed run amok if left unchecked. The result may be a jungle of green foliage and little in the way of color.
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