Wintertime is the perfect time to really look at your garden. This is the time to notice what is working in your yard and what is not before springtime comes. Here are the 3 top things you should be doing in your outdoor space now.
Evaluate Your Garden
Take a look at your garden now (wintertime) and evaluate how it is looking. How does the way the garden looks NOW make you feel? What aspects of my garden are present in winter? All the pretty perennials are cut down now so wintertime is a perfect time to really see the base structures of your yard. The plants and structures left in winter are what I like to call your "evergreen base". Whether it is plants, furniture, boulders, pottery...these are all things present in winter. This is an important base layer to your garden and should look good year-round. If not, you will want to rethink your garden.
This is a big one. I have been to so many yards that are so overwhelming for my clients and oftentimes it has a lot to do with all the stuff in their yard. I have listed below the items you should get rid of.
Trash - So often there are tons of things that are actually trash in your yard or shed. So get rid of that trash NOW. Do a thorough walk through of your yard and of your shed area to make sure you purge that trash.
Damaged Items - Broken toys, furniture, pottery etc. If they are broken are you really going to use them?
"Just in Case Items" - If something has been hanging around for a long time for a "just in case" moment and hasn't been used. Do you really need it? Or has it already expired?
Pottery - Seriously think about how much pottery you want to have. Pottery in a garden should be minimal. I usually only use pottery as accent pieces and ensure they have irrigation connected to them. Lots of people have so many pots stored in their yards that they keep thinking they will use. Well I am here to tell you that…you are not going to use them. Keep a few beautiful pieces you like (glazed, decorative) and then get rid of the rest. You can easily post pottery on re-use sites where others would be happy to re-home them.
Fertilizers, Pesticides, Herbicides, Paint etc. - It is important that you safely get rid of these items at your local Hazardous Waste Material Clean-up sites. Contra Costa Program linked here. So many people have so much chemical "stuff" they have accumulated in their sheds/garages/yards and you really don't need it. I am not a proponent of herbicides or pesticides in general since they get into our water sources. Instead safely dispose of them and then consider more organic options.
Items You Don't Like - Why oh why do we hang onto items we don't like. I have had so many clients have random things left over from previous owners (garden art, pots, sculptures). I am here to tell you that you are not obligated to keep these items. These items tend to not be your style and add nothing but the feeling of "junk" to your outdoor space. You can easily donate these items or post on re-use sites where others would be thrilled to use them.
Plants You Don't Like - If there are plants you do not like, why are you keeping them. They are often creating the feeling of chaos for you in your yard. Things to think about before getting rid of a plant include; Is this plant providing privacy? Providing shade? How long has this plant been here? Shrubs and perennials are easy to get rid of but trees will need to be further evaluated before you remove them. Instead take note of the trees you do not like and then put this information aside to further evaluate later since tree removal is oftentimes much more costly.
Plan Out Your Garden
Now is the time to really think about your outdoor space. what will happen in spring or what you have to do to get ready,
Make a list of what needs to be done in your outdoor space.
Are there things that need to get fixed in the yard?
What do you wish your outdoor space had?
How would you like to use your outdoor space?
This is a great time to consult with a professional landscape designer. We are here to help you think outside of the box on ways to make your outdoor spaces more inviting, cozy and beautiful. We are here to help!