The Gardenís ABCs-- A-M
A - Always plant more than you need. Why? So you can give the others away or trade them for more plants!
B - Be Careful when pulling weeds. Many weeds have toxins in the leaves or sap that can give you a bad rash. Other weeds like Poison Ivy are major trouble and a brush with a few leaves in the garden will leave you regretting it for weeks to come.
C- Come into the garden slowly. Take your time each and every time you come in to the garden and you will start to see new and wonderful things each time. You will also start to see things you might have missed, the fading flower or the sick leaves. It is tempting with so much to do to rush in and out of the garden but take the time to smell the roses.
D- Don't buy a blooming plant. Why pay money for others enjoyment? This is my grandmother's old motto and she always stood by it. She would look for the plant full of buds but not yet in bloom and buy that one, so she could see each and every bloom herself.
E- Everything in its place. Keeping the garden in order is the hardest part of modern gardening. Be ruthless and learn how to prune your plants to keep them in bounds. Learn how to pull and give away or compost unwanted plants - keep everything in its place.
F- Forget the past. Stop thinking about how you killed this or that, stop worrying about how, when you moved here, you single handedly killed the champion tree. Each new garden day is just that--new--and let it all start over again.
G-Go nuts. Plant a nut tree or two for the wildlife in your area. The birds and small animals will thank you.
H-Have fun. If you are not having fun in your garden, get rid of it! If it is more work than enjoyment for you, pay someone else to come in and do the work. Gardening, once it ends being an enjoyable act, will lose the simple wonder that comes with each new bloom.
I- It is never too late. Try something new each year. It is never too late to try new things in the garden.
J-Just go for it. Try that plant everyone says will not grow here but you just love. What is the worst thing that can happen? At least you enjoyed them for a year, right?
K- Keep it simple. Try your best to keep things simple. Don't worry about trying to make things overly formal if you don't have the time. Only plant the area you can take care of - don't overdo it.
L- Let nature happen. Don't dead head every bloom. Let some of Mother Nature's work ripen and spread for the new year to come.
M- Make it right the first time. Take the time to build your garden beds the right way the first time. It will be well worth it in the long run.
Image is in the public Domain and is the first known inscription, known as the Duenos Inscription.
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