Gardening tips from the Springfield Curb Appeal Challenge

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Have you ever noticed that the most appealing homes are surrounded by eye-catching yards? Without a well-planned landscape to surround and nestle a home, you simply don’t notice it. Or worse yet, you think to yourself, “Well, it’s okay, but it’s boring.”

You don’t need to spend a fortune to have a great yard. You just need to plan it well. Think of perennials or shrubs as investments in your property. And it’s so rewarding when they reach above the soil, year after year, with so little effort on your part! When friends divide their perennials, ask them to hand off some to you rather than throw them in the compost. Perennials and shrubs form the structure of your garden. Think of annuals as the “jewelry” that you add as needed.

Bonny Andrews, longtime member of the Springfield Garden Club, suggested that you think of your yard as a series of vignettes. “It’s easier to visualize and design smaller sections rather than one large space,” she said. She recommends perennials be placed in odd numbers, three or five, not two or four. Plant large shrubs or plants in the back and smaller plants in the front or border. She also recommends stones should be incorporated into a vignette. “They give the garden a natural look – and you don’t even have to water them!”

Andrews recommended that when planting a new shrub, you should carefully tease the roots apart with a forked tool so they don’t grow in a circle and strangle the plant. Dig a hole larger than the root ball and fill the hole with water three times. Then fill in the hole with the removed soil.

Andrews also advised that plants generally like one to two inches of water a week. She does not add amended soil or fertilizer to a shrub or perennial because the plant needs to learn to live in the native soil.

When you enter the Curb Appeal Challenge, you can talk Bonny Andrews yourself. You can enter the contest by going to www.upna.wufoo.com/forms/2018-springfield-vermont-curb-appeal-challenge. Have your “before” photo ready when you enter. The contrast between your “before” and “after” photos is the key to winning a cash prize. If you’d like more information about the contest, call 802-885-6388 or request information from upnainc@gmail.com.

The Curb Appeal Challenge thanks the Springfield Garden Club and Bonny Andrews for the gardening tips, and the following organizations that sponsor the Curb Appeal Challenge: Muse & Associates, Bibens Ace Home Center, Woodbury’s Landscaping, the Springfield Reporter, Union/Park Neighborhood Association, Mascoma Bank, Sherwin-Williams Paints, and the Town of Springfield.

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