Every year in the fall I assess my garden by walking around, taking pictures and making notes in a small note book. I do this because come spring many of my plants have died back and I won’t remember what the garden looked like. You can certainly make changes now but I find that it is much easier to move and divide plants as they come up in the spring and I always worry that we might get some early bad weather which might not give the plants enough time to re-established themselves before winter.
Plants That Have Overstayed Their Welcome
Make a note for those plants which have overgrown their space. Maybe they are in the way like the geranium below which is covering half of the sidewalk, or encroaching on other plants territory like the begonia. You can simply dig up some of the plant material and move it to another location or give it away to someone as a gift.
Lonely Spaces and Opportunities for Plant Shopping
Make a note of bare spots and areas which could use a new plant to round out your landscape. Below is a spot that once contained a beautiful lavender plant. I was hoping that it would come back after I pruned away the dead areas, but all that grew were a few weeds and the neighboring geranium. This gives me a place to plant a new lavender next year or perhaps something else grabs my attention.
Poor Plant Growth = Relocation
Take note of any plants that just haven’t done well. If this is the first year you’ve grown this plant you may want to give it another chance. However, sometimes a plant just doesn’t seem suited to one area even after you’ve tried following the growing instructions for light and water requirements. In addition, you may no longer like something that you originally thought was a good idea. You can move the plant to a better suited area or give it away. For example the Hydrangea ‘Blue Billow’ below has been in the same place for more than three years. I hasn’t bloomed very well and it should probably have grown larger then the 24 inches it currently reaches. It may not be getting enough sun in this spot and/or it may be competing with the roots of the red maple. So I think it will be time to move it come spring.
I hope you found this post helpful and will take time some time now to evaluate what is happening so that you will have head start on what needs to be done for next year’s garden. It’s an easy and worthwhile task and it gives you an excuse to plan what you might buy during the winter while browsing through the beautiful plant catalogs.