I enjoy maintaining my garden; I pull weeds and prune when necessary. I get to see all the cool stuff going on: new flower buds, new leaves, the changing seasons—all because I’m out there. While it is hard to get my rear end off the sofa to go outside, once I’m coated in sunscreen and protective gear, it is hard to stop.
When we talk about maintenance, especially as we find new ways to connect garden stewardship with increased drought resilience, we’re working toward a lot of desirable goals at once. A well-loved garden returns the favor through increased property value, personal satisfaction, beauty, and environmental benefits. Along with all this, we can help our gardens be more drought resistant—or not—depending on the decisions we make.
A landscape’s design should consider the level of care that it will get once installed. If a project is going to receive excellent care, it can include details and plants that require higher levels of skill. To say it another way, the care needed to maintain the garden design’s intent must be within the abilities of those who will be doing that work. It’s important to think both about maintenance as we design our gardens as well as understand how our gardens grow and how their needs change over time.
In this section, we will look at ways to bridge the gap between maintenance and drought, common issues that come up, and practices that anyone caring for a garden should be familiar with. The tasks should be specific to that site, current conditions, and responsive to change. Otherwise, what are we caring for if not this garden with these plants at this time?
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