Written by Jacqueline Zenn
Bring some life back into your yard and start anew this spring.
Looking forward to spring flowers and the future beauty of your garden is a great way to make it through a chilly Midwestern winter. However, bringing your garden back to life can be a challenge, particularly in areas like Southeastern Wisconsin where the snow and ice makes for a long hibernation.
Accordingly, the early spring is the ideal time to start planning how you will restore and refresh your garden, landscaping, and outdoor living spaces. After all, what could be more life-giving than visualizing the abundance of spring and summer gardens on the lake?
Here are some of the best ways to revitalize your garden after a long winter:
- Remove dry or dead components. Out with the old, in with the new should be your mantra as you prep your garden during the early spring. Spring cleaning should apply to your outside space as well!
- Prune the perennials and the shrubs. While many of your plants may be just fine after the winter (after all, none of us are planting tropical foliage here), they probably need a good pruning to be ready for the spring season.
- Clean or upgrade your garden paths or walkways. Same goes for your garden walkways, decks, and patios! A little power-washing might be in order, or perhaps this is the year to replace cracked stones, tiles, or overly weathered wood altogether.
- Add some elegant yard art or eye-catching features. When you think of yard art, do you think of garden gnomes or cutesy sculptures? The options abound in this day and age, leaving you with a plethora of styles to choose from. Installing a new water feature or bird bath, adding an interesting sculpture or reflecting orb, or even just putting up an elegant wind chime and some Edison lights can go a long way toward brightening up your outdoor space.
- Consider blooming times. Each year, crocuses are often the first buds to pop through the frost, followed by other hardy perennials. If you (or your landscaper) plan carefully, you can ensure that you have lush greenery and plenty of color starting in early spring and extending all summer into the fall by choosing a range of plants and flowers that hit their peaks at different times.
- Replace the annuals. If you have annual plants of any kind, early spring is when you need to replace them. What’s more, adding beds of annuals like begonias, petunias, or impatiens for pops of color before your late spring and summer plantings fully blossom.
- Check on your perennials. If you have irises, tulips, daffodils, or anything else growing from bulbs, you might start seeing some growth peeking through the soil during the early spring.
- Plant some new bulbs. If you don’t see the little green shoots popping up or if what you do see is sparse, then it’s time to add some new life to those beds with annuals or potted plants, or plan on planting new bulbs in the early fall. Early to mid-spring is also the right moment to plant summer-flowering bulbs like dahlias and gladiolas.
- Call your landscaper. If you don’t have a green thumb or aren’t inclined to do the gardening work yourself (or perhaps your lake home is an additional or secondary property and you aren’t there year-round), then working with a local landscaper who understands the climate and what works well in Southern Wisconsin is ideal.
If you need something to brighten up the gray days of winter and early spring, you can look ahead by planning how you are going to revive and update your garden or other outdoor space come spring. It’s a wonderful way to bring in some mental sunshine, plus you can get ahead of the curve by hiring help, ordering plants, and even making sure you have the tools you’ll need at the ready.
Make sure that everything’s coming up roses during one of the most joyful and anticipatory seasons in the Midwest. Whether you work with a landscaper or are a committed DIY gardener, designing and bringing an exquisite and unique outdoor space to life is one of the best parts of enjoying life in the springtime.