As a kid, I loved trimming shrubs. Trim a bit there, trim a bit here. Like a haircut, except no one is upset if you take a little too much off the back. Perhaps why I later went to beauty school.
Around here, autumn is a great time to trim the trees. Here are some tips and tricks to giving the trees a haircut.
I like to use a pair of bypass loppers to cut the thicker branches. The red handles on our pair also make it easier to spot when you lay them down in the grass, and then forget where you put them.
I start by trimming some of the too-low hanging branches. Start with just a little, because you will be surprised how much the tree will spring up once its relieved of just that little weight. For instance, if you like the way a tree hangs in front of a window, don’t go chopping a huge limb all at once, because the existing branches might spring up and not hang the same anymore.
Be sure to trim the dead branches too, and any of the growing straight up suckers that you don’t care for. You want the tree to grow in the shape of a tree, and sometimes it needs to be reminded of that.
Another big plus of trimming the trees before the leaves all fall- proactive leaf collection.
Happy tree trimming! Don’t go crazy because there is always next year!
We received this hanging planter as a hand-me-down gift in the spring. It is not very big, and rather shallow, so we found the smallest draping plant at the garden store, and hoped for the best. To our surprise, the plant seems to be doing pretty ok.
He lives next to a sunny window in the living room. We don’t think he is growing very quickly, but we drilled a hole in the wall for him, so the least he can do is stay green. I water him with a couple ice cubes every week, which I hope cools him down in the hottest part of the day. He adds a touch of green sophistication to the wall, so hopefully he will stay around for awhile.
Have you seen these? It reminds me of a game board. Growing a garden is kind of like a game, so at least it gets you in the right mindset. You follow the directions, and hope for the best results, but who knows what might happen along the way!
The animals at the Desert Museum are very real. While rounding a corner on the trail, a real life actual several foot long snake slithered in front of us. We were not exactly prepared with a snakebite kit, but the danger made the whole experience a little more thrilling. The other animals were a little more tame.
Butterflies were everywhere. I am very inspired to plant many butterfly friendly flowers in our own yard.
This prairie dog stopped moving the second I started filming him, so at least he has a sense of humor.
I have never seen a black widow spider in real life, and they are much much much bigger than I imagined.
The frogs, grasshoppers, and basically all kinds of bugs and such are much larger there. All we get here are foot long cockroaches.
That is a coyote in the middle there. Do you see any actual fence at first? Neither did we. We stood there wondering if we should be playing dead.
We’ve found that adding mulch is the quickest way to make your flower bed look extra pro. In some places of the world, the dirt is nice and soft, but here, our dirt looks like rubble rocks. If you spent the time and effort to plant some pretty flowers, let’s get our money’s worth!
First, you will need to obtain some mulch. We do this through our local garden store. This whole cart of mulch is less than $20.
Next, you need to prepare the ground for mulching. You can level out the ground a bit with a sturdy rake or hoe. Get your plants in the dirt. If you are discouraging a particularly nasty weed, lay down some black weed control fabric.
Finally, add your mulch! You will need to cover the ground evenly with several inches of mulch. Be sure to use gloves so you don’t get slivers!
Not only does it add some nice contrast to make your flowers really stand out, mulch also discourages weeds and helps water control! Big fans.
Our love of garden stores is no secret. Whenever we have out-of-town guests, my usual suggestion for activities is to go on a tour of garden stores.
This past weekend on our road trip, we got to visit the Desert Museum, which is kinda like a garden store of every type of cactus, but nothing is for sale. They had the cactus rock garden of my dreams, and we learned all the cactus facts. I’m thinking about labeling all our plants now, including the quiz facts.
We were only allowed to take one rock each, which I am still carrying around in my purse.
Our weekend was filled with a road trip to the desert. We saw all kinds of cacti, and all kinds of golf carts. There were trees with green bark, and grasshoppers with foot long legs. It is a part of the country we are not as familiar with, but thankfully, these signs gave us some useful tips.
If you are going into battle, you need the proper armor. If you are going to spend a bit of time outside, you should be dressed and ready for it! Here are some basic essentials for spending a morning doing yardwork:
1. Staying well hydrated is common sense, and helps keep you cool. I like a cup with a lid and straw, so I can feel more sure a stray bug or something isn’t swimming around in there. 2. Most of the time, I wear a watch. Its easy to lose track of time, and if you need to be showered and somewhere else later, you’ll be glad you wore one.
3. I’m a fan of hats. They keep hair out of my face, and make my crazy hair a little more manageable. I like baseball hats, or big floppy garden hats, and braids. 4. And finally, a good pair of garden gloves. My fingers still tend to get sore and I occasionally get a little cut, and I can only imagine what my hands would look like if I didn’t wear gloves.
Optional essential- bug spray. Mosquitoes can be nasty, but I kinda hate bug spray, so I try to go as long as possible without it. Wearing long pants and sleeves helps a lot.
What is your go-to garden gear?
The unknown is one of the most terrifying things in the world. Possibly because we can’t see it. We are in the dark. Reaching your arm into a bunch of plants to clear them out is pretty scary. Who knows what is living in there. But we learn from Dumbledore: “You know happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”
So instead of being paralyzed by the thought of weird bugs flying out at you, let’s turn on the light.
The secret is to start on the outside, and just start cutting what you can see. It will start to thin out, and you’ll be able to see more and more.
As you see more, you will feel a bit more comfortable with pulling and clipping, and you can work your way down to the base and roots. It will take some time, but you can do it!