Embarking on a Green Journey: The Whys and Hows of Updating Our Gardens

By Joe Gasperini Southside Master Gardener Gardening is so much more than tending to plants; it’s a practice steeped in care, thoughtfulness, and a connection with nature. When our boxwoods have outgrown their initial spots, we find ourselves at a crossroads, pondering whether to let them be or take a bold step towards change.
These overgrown boxwoods were removed and replaced primarily with native shrubs and perennials. Size Management: Imagine creating a space where every plant thrives without feeling cramped, and each one gets its moment in the sun, literally and figuratively. The idea is not just to manage size but to let every leaf and petal breathe and bask freely. Biodiversity: Envisage a garden where various critters – bees, butterflies, and birds – find a sanctuary. Different plants attract different wildlife, and in this dance of nature, our gardens become a vibrant, bustling haven of life and activity. Disease Resistance: By choosing hearty plants, we safeguard our little patch of nature from the heartache of seeing them succumb to diseases. Our choices thus weave a stronger, more resilient tapestry of flora. Climatic Suitability: Rooting for plants that thrive in our local climate is like cheering for the home team. It’s a nod to our inherent natural heritage, allowing it to flourish and dazzle in its authentic glory. Water Conservation: A garden mindful of water use speaks to a deeper awareness and respect towards our planet and resources. Every drop saved is a step towards a more sustainable and conscious living. Enhanced Aesthetics: There’s joy in watching a myriad of colors burst through the soil, creating a kaleidoscope of life that changes with the seasons, offering new sights and wonders as days roll by. Support Local Ecosystems: Picking native plants is akin to extending a hand of friendship to the local birds, insects, and fauna, creating a space where nature’s symphony plays harmoniously. Reduced Allergens: In being mindful of allergens, we extend a silent note of care to our loved ones and neighbors, ensuring that the air we all breathe is gentle and kind. Improved Air Quality: Plants that give us cleaner air weave an invisible yet potent shield, guarding our health and silently nurturing our environment. Safety: A garden that ensures safe passageways tells a tale of thoughtfulness, weaving consideration for every visitor, be it the mail carrier or a wandering cat. Economic Considerations: Opting for low-maintenance plants is a nod towards practicality and forethought, ensuring our gardens remain a source of joy and not stress, both mentally and financially. In integrating these aspects, the decision to replace overgrown boxwoods extends beyond practical and environmental considerations, weaving into the social and emotional fabric of the community, thus enriching it in multifaceted ways.