Gardening colum: Garden renovations require perspective

Are you fed up with your garden? This may be the time to do some much needed renovations in your garden that has seen better days.

Sorting out your garden is much like sorting your wardrobe. Hidden among the pile of clothes may be some treasures that can be resuscitated.

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Oftentimes, with the help of another eye, you can reappraise your assets.

Many people will hire a reputable landscaper or bring in a fellow gardener to rejuvenate their garden beds. In this day of keeping the environment top of mind, rejuvenating a garden should always consider not upsetting wildlife.  

Landscapers look at an existing garden and will advise what to keep, what to move and what to renovate. Shrubs, trees and plants, garden features that you love can be rescued and given a whole new life.

Many times we plant a treasured plant, tree, shrub in the wrong location. Renovating your garden can solve these problems and restore healthier, stronger plant material.

The first visit of a landscaper is almost archaeological, depending on the depths of the decline. Armed with trusty secateurs, pruning saws, loppers and even a light chainsaw, work starts on favourite trees and shrubs that need lightening and lifting.

With the pruning, scattered light is created through the canopies of trees and shrubs.

This method works very well in small gardens where every inch matters. When you take stuff out and let in light, you see your garden differently.

Removing overgrown plants, such as ivy, creeping jenny andvinca minor; redefining overgrown shrubs; trimming and training vines; and pruning back overgrown roses, will help restore your garden.

Treasures may appear in the undergrowth: bulbs, corms and perennials may pop up where they were buried for years.

All through the renovation process, landscapers stand back quite often and review their work. The aim of a good landscaper is to create balance and improve plant health.  In pruning, they cut out dead and crossing branches, remove anything ugly with the overall goal of replacing congestion with movement.  

A good landscaper won’t go too far or plants put on too much regrowth.  

The most important element when deciding to renovate a tired garden bed, is to make sure you hire the right person to do the job or spend some rainy days researching the “how to” on the Internet or at your local library.

If it becomes a do-it-yourself, take it slow, stand back and review your work often and bring in a buddy to get another eye on the job.

Renovating your garden will give you a whole new space that you can love again!

Lynda Pasacreta is the current president of the Richmond Garden Club. For more information visit their website at

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