I’ve always been a fan of Mary Keen. Her Creating A Garden is one of my favorite books to drool–er–dream over in the winter. Now I see she has an online gardening column with the Telegraph called Cheat’s Guide. (Need to register unless you get it as an RSS feed.) “Knowing what you can get away with is my specialist subject,” she explains, “. . . These monthly columns will be a way of sharing that knowledge.” This month she suggests trimming your garden way back just before you leave on vacation, so it will be looking great when you get back. Not the usual take on gardening maintenance, but it makes a lot of sense, especially if you aren’t packing a suitcase for kids. (I don’t know about you, but who has time for last-minute garden maintenance when you’re trying to make sure everyone’s got matching socks for the trip?) I’m certainly looking forward to future columns.
Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.
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