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Whenever I look at my garden and what I see depresses me, I buy more mulch!

Nothing spruces up a garden like a thick coating of rich, dark brown mulch.

It sets off every type and color of foliage and enhances all the flowers. Ideally, I like to mulch my flower beds very early in the spring before the daffodils bloom, as it shows them off to perfection once they flower.

However, life gets in the way and frequently a lot of spring rain spoils the best of intentions. Fortunately, one can always mulch anytime, though it is harder when there are lots of tall plants that get in the way of the shovel.

If there is an out-of-the-way spot in the garden, for example, behind a shed or garage, you can get a large load of mulch delivered early and just stash it out of sight. Then you can gradually mulch one bed at a time as the spirit moves you, starting with the beds that look the scruffiest or are the most visible from the street or the window.

The very worst that can happen with this approach is that there will be a lovely big pile of mulch all ready to be used very early in the spring the following year…or the year following that!

One need never feel guilty, just well prepared. After all, mulch that has already been paid for is like money in the bank.

[NOTE: Pine needles are also excellent for mulching, especially around plants that like acid such as azaleas and also can be used on pathways, as they not only look attractive but feel springy under foot.]

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