Clever Gardening Technique
Appraise What's Working and What Isn't
Midsummer is a good time to take notice of which plants are disappearing under their neighbor's foliage and which ones would make more of an impact if they were paired with other plants. Make notes so you remember your ideas later or take pictures and write directly on the photos what action you'd like to take so you can pull them out over the winter and make a plan. When you sit down in your garden, where do your eyes go? Most likely you keep looking at plant combinations that please you, as well as at certain combinations or plants that bother you. Write them down.
A Mediterranean Garden
The look of a Mediterranean garden is not impossible to achieve in our moist New England summers. In many cases, it's soil that holds too much moisture during the winter that kills lavender, sages, and other drought-tolerant plants. Make Your Own Mediterranean Garden, by Pattie Barron (Anness Publishing Ltd., 2003; $27.50), provides tips for growing an array of Mediterranean plants -- trees, shrubs, flowers, veggies, and herbs. Forget the compost and manure, these plants need non-moisture-retentive soil. Forget the hay or wood chip mulch. These plants prefer gravel. Forget the sprinklers and drip irrigation. These plants like it on the dry side. Sounds like low maintenance to me! The book includes a plant directory of appropriate plants and their best uses.