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The Organized Gardener

by GUEST BLOGGER Marsha Ackerman, Founder of Second Bloom Design

Many clients come to me looking for ‘low maintenance’ gardening tips. With such busy lives, we have little time to dedicate to gardening, but still want an attractive environment to come home to. One of the best pieces of advice that I can offer to these clients is to Stay Organized! Gardening can be overwhelming if tasks pile up; don’t let this stop you. There are simple ways to achieve a lot in a small amount of time. 1. Have a well-organized space for all your tools. When you have 15 minutes to garden, it will be much more productive if you can quickly grab the necessary tools. Keeping clean, sharp tools also helps you to complete garden chores with ease rather than fighting a dull blade or spending time searching for your pruners. 2. Plan. Excel spread sheets make me feel calm and organized (I’m a planning junkie). Luckily for you, there are lots of us out there who enjoy this part of gardening and can help you. There are many gardening journals/blogs/services available that will break the gardening tasks down by month to a manageable list. If reading about gardening doesn’t sound fun to you, spend an hour with a garden designer and ask them to help you make a maintenance calendar specific to the plants in your yard or garden. 3. Keep it convenient. Don’t feel like you need to make your yard/garden spectacular in one season. Most beautiful gardens happen over many years. Watching a beautiful plant flourish in your yard and knowing that your hands encouraged its growth is very satisfying. Before you know it, you will be feeling quite comfortable in the dirt and wanting to expand your collection. 4. Consider raised bed gardening. Raised beds make it easier to control your plants and reduce weeding time. Most vegetables and flowers do beautifully in raised beds. For some people, having several small spaces to maintain feels more manageable than having one large space. 5. Keep a garden journal. This helps you to remember what has been successful in your yard/garden and what will thrive in your environment. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Keeping records of yearly seed orders and things you want to try makes the process quick and easy the next year. 6. Make it a habit. Try to spend an hour every weekend in the garden. For me, it is a place of prayer and meditation, whether I am pulling out weeds or enjoying the fruits of my labor. If you can develop a routine of being in your garden regularly, it can transform from another item on your to-do list to a place of sanctuary in which to recharge. Spring and summer are when many think about the garden, but planning through the fall and winter is a great way to brighten up cold, dreary days and be ready for spring with a plan in hand. So regardless of the time of year, happy gardening!

About the Author

Marsha Ackerman is the founder of Second Bloom Design. Twenty-five years as an opera singer taught Marsha a great deal about elegance, form, and the transformation of life's landscape when filled with that which is beautiful. She now focuses that artistry in the world of landscape and garden design, helping clients to take their dreams for their garden and turn them into a space that brings joy and renewal to their home.

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