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A Garden Wedding

flower vases

Table centerpieces are the perfect way to bring in a pop of color to a more neutral palate. Photo by C. L. Fornari

Removing any and all dead leaves and stems will immediately improve most ugly plants. Be sure not to make any cuts that leave bare stumps, however. Cut dead limbs all the way back to one inch from the trunk and take away all dead foliage. Do this for both trees and shrubs.

If the plant looks worse once this is done, you know it’s time to cut bait completely. Ugly shrubs can always be cut off at ground level and the stump covered with a thin layer of mulch. If doing this creates an odd looking, empty space you can easily fill the area. You might group three or more large pots planted with flowering annuals, or even use a birdbath or other garden ornaments to fill the spot.

Benches can also be used to attractively fill large areas—even in places such as foundation beds where it isn’t the norm to have a bench. These can actually be a pleasing way to transform a gap into an area for rest.
In the face of an overgrown landscape, some might decide to cut their shrubs back hard. This is the Marine Corps barber approach. This type of renovation pruning can sometimes be effective, but it’s more likely to create butchered looking plants for the short term. Cleaning up larger, overgrown shrubs by pruning from the ground up, or by simply removing dead growth may be the percentage play – especially if you’re close to the wedding date.
Fresh cuts are always more noticeable on shrubs and trees as well, so for many reasons it’s probably wise not to do any major pruning right before the event.

Punch up garden color Looking at your yard as the location for a wedding, you might notice that you have a good amount of green foliage but not much else. Some properties are filled with serviceable evergreens and not many flowers; others have plants in bloom, but only at certain times of the year.



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