That's the phrase that caught my eye on the cover of Gardens Illustrated magazine the other day at Barnes & Noble. The magazine's editors consider this topic the garden equivalant of New Year's resolutions. Certainly in cold climates like mine, this is the time of year when we are mentally adding, subtracting and redesigning the garden; always a much easier task when you can't actually get out into it and do any work.
- GROW TOPIARY. They mean hedges as a foil to mixed borders. We've addred yew, boxwood and barberry balls to our driveway flower border as there's no room for a hedge. Someday these shrubs will meet in a long wave and we'll remove most of the surrounding flowers. It's our pre-emptive prep for old age gardening.
- ADD LATE-SEASON FLOWERS. I've got toadlilies and asters and just added Caryopteris. Got something you love for fall?
- LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE. Light the garden at night for safety and to get more use out of it, they suggest. We still prefer to wait for a full moon.
- KEEP A RECORD. Take pictures and notes; something I manage on a fairly regular basis — for the blog if nothing else. Though, to be honest, Mark is usually behind the camera and I'm wielding the pen for the blog. But this year I'd like to try to improve my own photo-taking abilities. (And I still keep paper garden records and journals).
- MOVE YOUR FURNITURE .... so you sit facing the garden and not the house. We only have one seating area in the garden but it faces the best view.
- USE POTS. They note that pots take a lot of work but are worth it. I am trying to add some planted pots to the garden, but frankly, a beautiful empty pot can make a statement, too.
- SHADOW PLAY. Purely by accident we created a couple of features that look great with early and late low raking light. Now we look for occasions to do more of the same. The east and west sides of a garden are particularly well-suited to this idea.
This image illustrates "shadow play" and "use pots". Again, the light effect was an accident but it taught us where to place plants and garden objects to catch light and shadows. And the group of pots shows they can be as effective empy as when they're planted.