When the seasons change, we all have our own rituals to celebrate the passing of one season and the beginning of another. When winter gives way to spring, we put away the snow boots, stick the gloves in the back of the closet, and enjoy storing away for months the snow tires on our cars. When spring turns to summer, we make sure we have plenty of shorts to wear and that our sunglasses collection is fully up to snuff. But changing seasons also has an impact on our gardens, of course. When the seasons change from spring to summer, we need to take care to transition the garden into the new warmer months. There are a number of ways to do this, and every garden is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Below are some tips for transitioning your garden from spring into summer.
Look for the right annuals for your garden. It is important when choosing your annuals that you match them to the lighting of your garden’s locations. Plantingvegetables.net makes the following recommendation: “Try impatiens, begonias or brilliant fuchsias to brighten shaded nooks, as these flowers thrive in shade or partial shade. Petunias, marigolds and geraniums fill the bill for sunny locations. Tuck annuals into the flowerbed between your perennials to liven the bed while waiting for summer perennials to bloom.”
Make room for vines. Vines can make a beautiful addition to a garden, partly because they evoke a romanticism from the time of Shakespeare and Italy, and also because they are often great annuals. The right vines also add texture and a variety of heights to your garden. Morning glories and tall nasturtiums can make things interesting by being tall and beautiful. Wait for the danger of frost to have passed through your area. By midsummer, the vines will cover the trellises and be in full bloom.
Don’t forget the mulch. Mulching is an important tool for all gardeners, as most already know. Using it around the base of your flowers will control weeds and help your plants hold onto their moisture. You can buy decorative mulch at a gardening store or you can make your own with grass clippings, woodchips and other organic materials. Stone mulch is another option and is well suited for those gardeners without a lot of extra time to spare: unlike organic mulches, stone will not break down and eventually require being replaced. Find what works for you.
Use trimming to help the seasonal transition. Trimming is an essential part of gardening. While some gardens have that unkempt, overgrown look, that doesn’t mean that their gardeners are not trimming. All gardeners trim to some extent. During the spring to summer transition time, make sure you are cutting back yellowed leaves from your spring-blooming flowers. Don’t wait – trim as soon as the yellowing starts. Once the foliage is yellow, it is dead, and the plant no longer needs it. You should safely remove the yellowed foliage to keep your garden looking fresh and summer ready.
Hang flowers too. Not all of your plants need to be planted in the ground. Try some hanging baskets to add some depth and variety to your garden. If you have, for example, a large swing in your garden, see if you can hang a basket of flowers from the top of it. If you have a tree, use the branches. There are plenty of ways to hang baskets in gardens, you just have to see what will work in yours.
Keep everything clean. While you are in your garden getting it ready for summer, planting the right flowers and trimming the dead foliage, make sure you put in some extra time to straighten things out. Rake away any leaves that have gathered and clear away any gardening tools, toys, or other detritus that has a tendency to collect in the garden. Keeping your garden well maintained includes keeping it clean. Nothing will undo all of your hard work faster than a pile of gardening tools in your garden.
Spend time outside! What’s the point of a beautiful garden if you never use it to relax? Grab a glass of wine and a book and spend some time outdoors!
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