HELP I'm a totally overwhelmed!

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  #1  
Old 07-31-02, 07:32 AM
meg1199
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HELP I'm a totally overwhelmed!

Hi there!
I've just purchased a beautiful home with about 7 years worth of amazing garden development. It's truly beautiful and certainly worthy of major accolades for the previous owner in creating this "unique for the area" English Garden. Here is the problem.......the previous owner was retired and literally spent most of waking hour outside in the garden................it's a lot about 1/2 acre in size...........the garden is entirely perennials with a section of vegetables as well.................I absolutely love to garden but I also work full time as does my husband...........should I first have one of the local landscaping companies come in and do an assessment so that I don't approach the fall with anything not attended to properly or will that just set myself up for major maintenance suggestions that could be extremely costly. Again, I love to garden but I'm concerned about the maintenance required and ensuring that priorities related to timing of events are met appropriately.............I certainly appreciate your advice!
Meg
 
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  #2  
Old 07-31-02, 08:52 AM
Gami
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Hi Meg,

Your yard sounds wonderful. I wish we could see it.

Perennials do take some time. In the fall, you'll have plants that probably need dividing. After a frost, you should cut back the dead foliage. If you don't have time to do it all, you can do that in early spring too. Some plants are best divided in the spring, so you can split up the heavy tasks.

As far as calling a professional, I think you'd have to consider the cost vs. the time you would have to spend. If you want to do something besides gardening, that might be the way to go.

Once the spring and fall cleanup is done, I think there's very little maintenace other than watering when needed. I assume the plants are thick and mulched so there probably aren't many weeds. Certain plants need deadheading.

It sounds like with the two of you working a couple of long, hard weekends, you could do it yourself. Time flies when you're having fun. I'm sure you'll find it very rewarding, and no matter how long it takes, you'll find a lot of pleasure in doing it yourselves. You'll really get to know your plants that way too.

If you find it takes too much time, you might consider removing some of the flowers and plant some flowering shrubs, etc. We have several flowerbeds and a veggie garden. Someday, we'll be moving, and I still want flowers, but whatever we decide on, it's going to be more low maintenance than what we have now.

Have fun!

Gami
 
  #3  
Old 07-31-02, 09:47 AM
meg1199
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Thanks so much Gami for your response...........a number of friends have visited our new home this week and the constant comment is that there is such a variety! Nobody has been able to tour the property without saying, "I wonder what that is?", or "Geesh, do you ever have a garden!". I have loads of books so I'll just sort through the "identification" process and do as you say with regard to fall and spring clean up. I think the previous owner took a lot of time to grow species that aren't typically found in the area. In fact, the property was toured last year as part of the local gardening clubs annual event.....that in itself intimidates me! Anyway, thanks again for your help!
Meg
 
  #4  
Old 08-01-02, 04:33 PM
Gami
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Hi Meg,

You're welcome. Be sure and take pics. Even if you identify something this year, you might forget what it is next year. With all your plants, it might be a good idea to start a journal too.

It's a good thing you have books. The Net is also a valuable source of info. I'm constantly looking something up and usually find what I need. I print off what pertains to our plants.

www.google.com is a very good search engine if you need one.

Get ready to spend a LOT of time in the garden.

Gami
 
  #5  
Old 08-01-02, 09:07 PM
skw655
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I've found that a good way to remember what a certain plant is once you have identified it is to find a stone and write both its botanical and common names on it. It works quite well - I use a waterproof permanent marker like a Sharpie. I don't know how long it will last, since I just started, but I would imagine that it would hold up longer than some other labeling systems that are on the market. I know one woman who made maps of her gardens labeling what was where, but whenever she moved something, she forgot to update the map and eventually forgot what was where again. Also, when you have the names on stones right in front of you and you are working in the garden and think "I wonder what that is?", you don't have to go running off to look it up - it's right there in front of you!
 
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