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How to Clean Up and Expand a Garden

Want to learn how to take an overgrown flower bed and transform it into a beautiful garden? Watch as Landscape Contractor Jenn Nawada cleans up the garden by pruning, dividing, and defining the edges.

Landscape designer, Jenn Nawada takes an overgrown flower bed and transforms it into a beautiful garden. Jenn demonstrates how to clean up a garden by pruning, dividing, and defining the edges.

Without spending too much extra money, Jenn shows you how to expand your garden while blending it in with an already established landscape.

Steps for Expanding a Garden:

  1. Plan out the space. Decide on if you would like to expand your flower bed to fit the landscape better. Jenn uses spray paint to determine where she wants the border of the new garden. Spray paint is not necessary, a hose or a rope could also be used as a guide.
  2. Remove all weeds.
  3. Jenn digs up some of the plants she wants to move to reorganize the garden. In this case, the perennials were overgrown so Jenn had to cut them back to about 4 inches tall. This will make it much easier to move and divide. Cutting the plants back means you will lose the bloom for the year but they’ll grow back the next year. Even if you don’t plan on moving the plant it will be easier to see the garden space if you cut them back.
  4. Define the space. Using the guidelines set out earlier, add some edging. You can choose from all different types of materials and styles, like plastic or metal. In this segment, Jenn chose cobblestones.
  5. Dig a trench for the cobblestones. Since this garden was not a high trafficked area, like a walkway or driveway, placing the cobblestones directly in the dirt is sufficient. Otherwise, cement would be needed so the blocks won’t wiggle around.
  6. Place the stones within the trench, using a mallet to compact them down into the soil. Use a straight blade to create a straight line on the back edge. Once the cobblestones are all lined up it is time to backfill with soil.
  7. Now it’s time to add compost. Adding a layer of compost will give the old and new plants the nutrients needed to keep them healthy and thriving. When the plants are added back in the compost will be turned over and integrated into the garden.
  8. Stage the plants. Using the old plants that were dug up and divided, and the new plants, determine how you would like to organize your garden. Keeping in mind to keep space around each plant so it will not be overcrowded in the future.
  9. Ensure your plants are native to your area. Do research to make sure you are buying plants that will thrive not only in your region but the location of the garden based on the light conditions. Do not plant a sun plant where it will receive too much shade and vice versa.

What You Need:

To redefine and expand the garden area, Jenn lined the garden bed with gray cobblestones. These were sourced by Plymouth Quarries.

Most of the plants Jenn used in the garden were already existing and just needed to be divided up. However, Jenn did select a few additional plants to add some color and textures to the garden, including tickseed, echinacea purpurea, garden phlox, coreopsis, and heather, which she got at Mahoney’s Garden Center.

The other materials Jenn used to expand the garden, including shovels and mulch, can be found at home centers and nurseries.