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Getting Advice

Ask a variety of friends, neighbors, and experts about what you already have on your new property before digging it all up.

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Photo: Craige Moore (flickr)

You can ask a variety of friends, neighbors, and experts for advice.

When you purchase and move in to a new home, always wait a year before replacing the existing landscape. In general, one needs a full year to observe what comes up in different seasons and which of the existing plants, shrubs, and trees deliver across time.

I say this because I have seen so many yards where new homeowners have immediately had everything dug up before really knowing what treasures they may have inherited.

As I walk in my neighborhood, I always look for the gardens that have wonderful spring bulbs. This spring, I watched in horror as some men dug up and discarded a large planting of budding daffodils just before they would have created their most breathtaking flower display.

And just yesterday, I saw a garden that had lovely mid-sized hydrangeas, roses, and crepe myrtles being dug up and thrown away. Then today, I saw in that very same garden that a few very tiny hydrangeas and a couple of miniscule other shrubs had already been planted. If the new owners had wanted smaller shrubs, they could have just had the existing ones pruned and save a lot of money.

Always wait and ask a variety of friends, neighbors, and experts to tell you exactly what you already have before getting rid of the whole lot.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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