August in the garden means color color color! It seems like everything is blooming now, the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are working double-time to reach every blossom they can as the long evenings of summer start to shorten again. Yes, it’s hard to believe that by the end of August, we will lose over an hour of daylight compared with the beginning of the month! While it is heart-wrenching to realize that, it also makes the beauty of these days all the sweeter.
Maintenance Mode: This time of year in the gardens is primarily maintenance mode. Our teams are out and about keeping your garden beds looking neat and tidy while performing some precision tasks to ensure the health and beauty of your plants all month. Deadheading spent flowers is a task that can be tedious, but the results are like a breath of fresh air. Spent foliage and flowers are snipped or scrunched out of perennials and the results are like a haircut, fresh and ready for another closeup! Deadheading also helps direct the plant to put its energies into developing more leaves and roots rather than producing seeds. Preventing seeding also cuts down on the spread of many perennials that, while desirable, need to be contained.
Pruning Paused: Some of the more major tasks like pruning are paused during the heat of summer, primarily to protect the health of the shrubs themselves. The stress of recovering from pruning is necessary, but we do not want to overtax the plant’s health by making it recover while also experiencing heat stress. Some shrubs may need a rogue branch trimmed or a dead or damaged area removed, which is always a priority to prevent disease or pests from getting too comfy.
Project Power Hour: This somewhat slower season for maintenance gives our teams the time necessary to knock out larger-scale projects that we aren’t able to fit in during the busy start and end of the year. Some projects we’ve recently been working on include redesigning existing garden beds by utilizing the existing plants in new arrangements. We also have been installing brand new designs with all new plants, fresh mulch, and a lot of love! Plants are selected based on the needs of the client as well as design, for example, construction in a Saint Paul alley created a muddy mess outside a client’s back gate. A design of creeping thyme and butterfly weed provides erosion control, water management, and pollinator habitat in what would otherwise be an empty space.
If you find yourself daydreaming of a redesigned or brand new garden bed, a pollinator paradise, a bird sanctuary, or any other idea, give us a call! We would love to help make your garden dreams a reality!