Ready, set, grow
Start off 2009 with some new gardening gadgets and plants that will leave you eager to head to the garden come spring.
Out with the old. In with the new. And then give yourself an unexpected leafy, flowering reward.
That’s the advice of Breniss O’Neal, Tulsa landscape designer and home-living television host. And January is the perfect time to get a head start on spring.
First, take a look into the tool shed or garage and do a serious triage on garden tools. Just like clothing, if you didn’t use a piece of equipment last year, you’re unlikely to use it this year. That ranges from the old lawn mower, tiller and cranky insecticide sprayers (that’s why we hire those landscape guys!) to a seemingly trendy gadget that we couldn’t do without but never used.
The result will be neatness and orderliness.Then invest in some garden gadgets that are truly helpful. Here are a few of O’Neal’s faves:
Tractor garden scoot These steerable garden appliances make planting and weeding easier, particularly if you’re an aging baby boomer or have knee or back problems. O’Neal says she won’t be without one this season.
Cushy gardening Be good to yourself and invest in protective wear. That includes chaps that protect your arms and padded knee care. Your body will thank you.
O’Neal likes to call it “eco chic.” Invest in rain barrels to water potted plants. For decking and fencing, look into wood-grain substitutes instead of the real thing. Be creative and make a garden ornament out of a used oilcan.
Plant for the Tulsa environment. That means including drought-tolerant plants such as coneflower. Your water bill will thank you.
Now for the fun part. O’Neal encourages Tulsans to think of the camellia. Its reputation is as a delicate Southern plant. All wrong. The evergreen shrub with glossy leaves is extremely hardy and, depending on the variety, blooms from spring to winter. Flowers frequently are saucer-size.