You get a phone call from people you do not know who are in the area and would like to visit your garden.
You were not expecting visitors and the garden is not in the shape you would like it to be before you show it to unknown gardeners. You only have a few hours to make the garden presentable.
What do you consider the most important jobs you first have to tackle since you do not have time to do everything you would ideally want to do?
1. The first and probably the most obvious thing to do is to mow the lawn, if you have a lawn, or mow the paths if they are grassed over. A freshly mowed area goes a long way to make a garden look more attractive.
2. You might think the next thing is to do some weeding but in fact weeding is a fair bit lower on the list. One job as important as mowing the lawn is taking care of edges. Whether your plants spill over the edges of beds or are well tucked in, a clear distinction between paved areas or paths and growing areas seems to have a very strong impact on the viewer's assessment of your garden. What ever the style of the garden, clear edges make a big difference.
|Importance of clear edges|
3. Next, if the alleys or patio are graveled, they should be raked.
4. Then, if you have a paved patio, you should sweep it. If the garden visitors are coming on a bright sunny day, you can hose it down before they are due to arrive. It makes things look fresher and cooler and the surrounding plants perk up.
|Not a patio, not in summer, but it shows the mirror quality of wet paved surfaces|
5. The next thing is to reassess any pots of bright annuals you might have to make sure they are in the best spots. The advantage of pots is that you can move them around. Moving them allows you to either direct people's attention away from dull areas or to have them focus on a specific spot. It is always useful to have a couple of such pots on hand to be able to move them to strategic places when need be. Provided they are not too heavy, a large empty pot or even a birdbath can be used the same way.
|A pot used to focus attention|
|Even with no bloom, a pot can add some pizzazz to a dull area|
Given that we all have different gardens, job priorities might vary from one garden to the next. It would be useful for all of us to know what job you would tackle first in your own garden.