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Garden Reports and Rejoicing – December 17

Too Much Mulch!

Just to remind you all that I’ve committed every design mistake that I’m writing about here, I present #6: too much mulch. The illustrating photo was taken in my garden in September. Note: focus on the foreground, not on the purple flowers of Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Spring Grove’ on the right.

I use it deliberately, not only to point out that a garden with less mulch is more attractive, but also to acknowledge that in all there is a process. In many landscapes large stretches of mulch are functional in that they keep weeds at bay while the plants that are there mature. Eventually the area will be filled with plants and not bark.

Mulch can also perform the same service while the gardener saves up to buy the plants that will fill the area. That’s my situation. Here at Poison Ivy Acres I have lots of ground to cover and limited funds and time.

So this post illustrates both a “design don’t” and a truth: sometimes we compromise on form because of function.

The 'Mary Stoker' mums and Lespedeza 'Spring Grove' draw the eye with their color, but the large expanse of mulch takes away from their beauty. I'm working on it.


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