Garden Makeover in One Step

This is now the amazing third year I’ve written twice a week for this blog and I’ve heard the question before: how do you come up with ideas for so many posts? One answer is that I simply look at what I am doing in one of the dozen gardens that I take care of weekly and write about that. Other times, that seems boring and I give up and go to bed and set the alarm early to write in the morning. As I fall asleep, I beg the dream catcher gods to present me with a perfect topic by morning. It took a while for this to work reliably, but now I can count on a mini-gardening dream just before I wake up in the morning.

In this morning’s dream, I visited the garden of a longtime client who had passed away two years ago. I don’t always like to visit gardens I once cared for because I have separation anxiety about letting go of plants I cared for so long, but last night’s dream showed me the perfect easy Garden Makeover that can dramatically improve your gardening space.

The new homeowners had hired an arborist as arborist services can assist with managing all their trees. The property was about 45 years old and had a lovely tree canopy but also some major breaks from early snow last year. The arborist came and deftly removed trees that were in decline, thinned crossing or broken branches, dramatically trimmed large branches that might break from snow in the future, and even convinced the owners to remove a big Siberian elm (a weed tree here).

I barely recognized the yard. Most of us don’t call an arborist until winds or snow bring some huge chunk of a tree down, hopefully not on our roof or car. As these professionals have experience in tree removal services, you know that you and your garden are in the best hands possible. There was no way that I could have done this on my own. And the trees hadn’t looked really bad. But the newly trimmed dream garden looked amazingly better with light coming in on a perennial garden area that had to rely on foliage for color because the shade had gotten deep. Everything looked cleaner and less full of the clutter of dead or crossing branches. Dappled shade is beautiful, lets flowers bloom, and plays light tricks with the sun. The monstrous Siberian elm will be missed, but for a small residential lot, the Montmorency cherry will be much more appropriate and yummy. Over in the corner, the arborist even left a hollowed out trunk core of the elm standing near the fence. This will make a perfect fairy garden area for the homeowner’s kids. I thought that was a rather vivid touch for a five-minute dream.

Arborists, like so many homeownership tasks, can be expensive. However, their consultations are usually free if you are a do-it-yourselfer and want to do some of the work yourself. I advise my clients to have their arborist come every two years to spread the work and expense out. Any money spent on old large trees will be a good investment in protecting your roof and car. And of course, you can get the free mulch from your ground up trees.

 
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