There are no shortcuts, are there? I’ve added some ideas for you to save some of your energy for enjoying your garden. It shouldn’t be an ordeal to go out and visit the plants that you so painstakingly added to your view. They are there to serve you – not the other way around. So get ready for my tips!
First, my cloche idea. Many clear plastic and translucent food containers can serve as a protective cover for those small plants that need some coddling in their first days outside. If someone can figure out a larger box such as a plastic shopping basket, with holes in it, that would be a good thing.
Another benefit I discovered is that it may also protect against rabbits and woodchucks, who occasionally pass through my yard before my dog sees them.
Next, my pathway to a path. They can be difficult, as weeds love to find new spaces between the “good” plants to take root. So, I use newspapers. Wet newspapers work the best. Newsprint is safe for the garden nowadays. The paper breaks down into the soil, so it recycles nicely. I lay weeds on top of the paper so that they keep things in place, if not neat; it is a natural way to have a funky look to things. Here you can see newspaper peeking out from under some dried weeds. Big foot is for scale. Next to it are some more weeds, laid down to dry out. You can always use more newspaper, if it becomes too soggy and soft. But the fact is, it’s always good news! Once you have done all of this, you can work on some ideas for plants. I’m not big on design, but I do like to bring nature as close as possible. So I pulled a feverfew plant, nipped off the buds, and planted it with
a few mint cuttings. Guaranteed pot of green! What can be more cost-effective.
So, one way or the other, you can make even the invasives work for you.
Don’t forget to use annuals that serve as salad additions – nasturtiums happily accompany a Hyperion daylily at the tip of a garden, making an inviting entry to what is soon chaos, as the walkway gets overwhelmed by weeds. My work is cut out for me, but every day I can see a difference, not only in my garden, but in my outlook and approach to my garden.
There are no shortcuts after all. But, if you cooperate with nature, she will cooperate with you in the long run. At least, that’s how you can think of things as you labor in the early morning.