Today’s post is about a method you can use to evaluate your yard and garden before the wedding. This approach will help you to see what areas need improvement and which places can be ignored. Most people tend to get overwhelmed about pre-wedding landscape preparations. If you’re feeling inundated with things that need doing, it can lead to inaction or the opposite: doing too much.

Here’s a way that you can break things down so you can have a plan that’s manageable. Get a clipboard and some blank paper, or a notebook. Either separate one sheet into three columns or use three different pieces of paper or notebook pages. Label these three pages/columns as follows:

Basic   Bad   Beautiful

Now go around your yard slowly, looking at everything. One by one, consider each flowerbed, individual shrub or groups of shrubbery, tree, fence, ornaments and other features. Decide which of those three categories each place fits into.

Basic are the plants and objects that are neither horrible nor lovely. They may not be exciting, but they are good enough. Ugly, half-dead plants, weed-filled flowerbeds and rotting fences are all examples of the types of things that would go into the bad group. The things and plants you love go into the beautiful category.

It might be helpful to invite a friend whose taste you trust along and have him or her do the same. You could also hire a garden consultant to go through this process with you. Don’t discuss your ratings the first time around, just walk the property with your friend or consultant and rate each area and object.

Be realistic and don’t be overly critical. If everything looks bad to you, be sure to do this process with at least one other person who might be able to evaluate your property with fresh eyes. Once you’ve rated the property with another person, repeat the walk, this time sharing how each of you have classified the landscape elements.

The idea is this. After you’re done, you’ll have a list of what needs attention and what doesn’t. The truth is, you only have to address what’s in the “bad” column. The beautiful is fine, and the basic fades into the background. Once you get a few pots of flowers or other wedding décor in place, no one will notice those basic areas.

You could go even further and break the “bad” items into three ratings: bad, worse and completely unacceptable. Tackle those in the last category first.

Don’t feel overwhelmed…make a plan.

This row of inkberry shrubs is well maintained and the bed around them mulched and pretty weed free. The forsythia won’t be in bloom for the wedding, but that’s OK. This area of the property would be rated “basic” – you don’t have to do anything here.

This area near the road falls into the bad column, no question about it. In fact, completely unacceptable would be pretty accurate.

This part of the garden is lovely. The bulbs will be gone for the summer wedding, but the boxwoods are neat and healthy. Again, you wouldn’t have to do anything in this part of the landscape. Some pots of flowering annuals could be placed up the walkway, in-between the boxwoods, should you want flower color.


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