Middle South

December, 2011
Regional Report

Remove Trees Safely

If you plan to remove a small or midsize tree from your landscape, don't cut completely through the tree until it begins to fall. Instead, stop short and hammer in a wedge (or two) to force the tree over. This way, you'll have more control over the tree and be in a better position to move away as it falls.

Save Time with Tarps

My tarp saves me a world of trouble in the garden. I use it when pruning to catch trimmings, when clearing beds to hold compost-bound debris, and when planting to keep loose soil in one place. A tarp makes cleanup of these jobs quick and easy, a real boon after a hard morning's work.

Balance Wheelbarrow Loads

A wheelbarrow is an indispensable garden tool, but you'll be in a fix if you don't take time to balance a load properly. When moving varied objects, always put the heaviest in the center front. Then lift slowly, testing stability before moving forward.

Plant Boulders

Many gardeners like to add boulders to a naturalistic planting. When plopped on the ground, however, these large ornaments look anything but natural. To achieve the desired guise, boulders should be "planted" so that one-third to one-half of the rock is below ground level.

Be Consistent with Design

The key to creating a good garden design is to pick an overall scheme and stick with it. Be consistent with your theme (formal or naturalistic, contemporary or rustic), your choice of materials, and the plants that enhance and work with the site. The most authentic gardens will be simple, subtle, and cohesive.

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