Garden Design

4 Steps to Whipping Your Flowerbeds into Shape for Spring

4 Steps to Whipping Your Flowerbeds into Shape for Spring
Now that spring has arrived it’s time to get my yard in shape. I start by following my outdoor spring cleaning guide, which usually begins with conquering our flowerbeds. Despite my best efforts in the fall, our flowerbeds are always a mess after winter, so it takes a bit of effort to get them back in shape.
Here are the four steps I take to whip our flowerbeds into shape in the spring.

The cleanup
I’m not sure how it happens, but somehow our flowerbeds always end up full of leaves, dead plants, and sometimes even trash over the winter months. I can only guess that the winter winds brings it all in, but nonetheless, it has to be cleaned up. So, the first step to cleaning up our flowerbeds.

Removing or moving old plants
Once I have the flowerbeds cleared of debris, I start on removing old plants that have lived out their lifespans like annuals or older plants that lost their battle with the elements. Then, I remove plants that simply don’t fit into my new design. If a plant is a perennial, meaning it lives for many seasons/years I almost always try to relocate it to a flowerbed where it fits in, but if that isn’t possible I try to find it a home with family or friends before I toss it.

Pruning the roses
Our home came with a number of large rose bushes that have been on this property for more than 20 years. Though they don’t always fit in with my design, I don’t have the heart to risk transplanting them, so I leave them as they are. However, that means I have to keep up with their maintenance. Pruning rose bushes can be tricky, so it’s important to identify the type of roses you have before getting started.We have repeat bloomers that like to climb, so it’s best to prune then in the spring. I start by removing any dead or damaged wood, then I clip certain pieces to get them into shape.

Once I have everything cleaned up, it’s time to rebuild our flowerbeds. I start by replacing the garden pebbles that were displaced or removed during the cleanup. Then, I begin planting the new plants. I place our perennials first since they will be a part of the garden for a few years. Once those are in place I add in the annuals to fill in the space.
Cleaning up the flowerbeds isn’t an easy or fun job, but the result always makes it worth the effort.