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Spring in the Gardening World and Its Connections to Organizing by Guest Blogger Bob Van Volkenburg -Avid Gardner and spouse of Professional Organizer Cathy Van Volkenburg CPO®

03 May 2015 9:47 AM | Julie Riber, CPO®


Spring is a long-awaited season for gardeners.  Watching life return after the long winter brings joy and lots of work!  There are certain fundamental spring tasks for both gardeners and organizers - here are a few worth mentioning:

  • 1.      Weeding – although weeding is often a season-long task for the gardener, an early assault on weeds right now as they are emerging can pay dividends later.  If your garden contains perennials, you are noticing that they are making their appearance after months of dormancy – now is the time to weed around them, to clear our these undesirable invaders while your perennials are still small and you can work in close quarters with them.  Later on, as they are larger and in various stages of bloom, the weeds are more well-established and more difficult to eradicate, and at the same time, it can be more difficult to see into all the places within your perennial plant.  In the organizing landscape, the same principle applies – it is never too early to weed your own collections; clearing away those items that are undesirable while a space is not overloaded can prevent bigger problems down the road. This is also a year- long task.
  • 2.      Pruning – Certain plants/shrubs and especially roses benefit from an annual pruning process.  This is more than just cutting away dead wood from the previous growing season; this is about shaping your plants now, at the beginning of the growing season, to promote the plant’s healthy development and to provide maximum flowers.  I’ll focus on roses for the moment – by this time in the year they will be starting to leaf out – always a welcome sign that fragrant blooms are only a month or so away. But new shoots will develop all around the rose canes, and if left untended will lead to the new canes growing in a haphazard fashion. Could this also happen in your closet? Multiple canes might look great now when you are happy for any signs of new life, but proper pruning of these canes to promote healthy growth to the outside, away from the center of the bush is the pathway to long-term plant health and great blooms.  In the same spirit, prune your possessions now to promote future growth – get rid of items that don’t function anymore, or are outdated and unlikely to be worn or used again.  Clothes may be in fine shape, but if you haven’t worn them in a year, move them on through donation or discard to make room for new growth.  Have you held on to old toys and hobbies?  Phases of interest that didn’t catch your attention for very long?  Prune them out of your life now and plan for new directions. Buy something new and then donate or toss something old. Prune your belongings for quality.
  • 3.      Improve your soil – Many gardeners pass the long winter months reviewing spring catalogs, filled with wonderful pictures of new plants as well as old trusted favorites, all bringing hopes of a successful coming growing season.  When planting those new plants, make sure to take a few minutes to improve your soil in the area where you are planting.  Just digging a hole and plopping a new plant in the ground may work in the short run, but improving the soil with peat moss and new topsoil will pay dividends for years to come.  In your own home, as you break out your spring and summer clothes, add a few new accessories to add life and longevity to your wardrobe.  Perhaps just a refresh is needed instead of a buying spree. You’ll find having a few quality pieces rather than overwhelming quantity can often bring crispness to your look – as well as providing flexibility for next year’s new catalog offerings.

Happy Gardening! Happy Organizing

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