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Four Spring Garden Tips From Bettman

We have made some nice progress this spring at our Bettman Pollinator Garden. As you can see it was a mess (see image above). Now, things are coming into shape. 

1) I removed some of the leaves in this garden, but not all. The leaves are great for replenishing the soil as they break down, but I don’t want more than the garden can accommodate. After removing some of the leaves and the spent annuals, I turned the remaining leaves and last year’s pine straw and then added a fresh blanket of pine straw. It’s a bit poofy now, but it will settle nicely with the first rain.

2) What to do with those leaves and spent annuals? I dropped them into thick piles on the back side of this garden (pictured above). I need a visual break between this garden, and the rest of the prairie otherwise you don’t know where one garden starts and another ends. The piles will also help block encroaching plants and weeds.

3) The Triangle Effect.  When you are working in a large space you may need to create smaller areas to simplify the design and maintenance of the garden as well as fit your budget. A large landscape or garden space does well with smaller gardens or vignettes. I have three small trees/shrubs planted in a triangle. They create a border for the new garden within this very large space, provide a backdrop for our new pollinator plants and provide winter interest to the garden. As you can see in the image above, the evergreens really stand out in the ‘off-season’ and they help define our new pollinator garden space.

4) A Garden in Transition. In the bench garden, we have new Japanese tree lilacs. They are young, so they don’t cast much shade. However, in a few years the sun allotment for this space may dramatically change. Therefore, I don’t want to plant a sunny perennial garden, just yet. Now I rely on annuals. The annuals will lend summer-long color and blooms to the garden and are beacons for pollinators.

If you have questions about pollinator gardening or would like the professional assistance of Wimberg Landscaping in the design, installation or maintenance of the new garden, call us or email us.

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