How to revive flowerbeds you don’t take care of

How to revive flowerbeds you don't take care of /
In my opinion, cleaning and planting outdoors is no different than cleaning and decorating indoors.

If a room is messy, the best way to clean it up right is to gut it, then start over.

You know those magazine perfect gardens with everything just so? 

Well… that isn’t realistic in my yard. I have no idea how some can maintain a house and garden, both to perfection. There’s only one of me. How do they divide themselves into 5 people? 

Dunno. But whatever the case may be, I commend you. I really do.

So today, I am going to first share how to revive flowerbeds you don’t take care of.

Get ready to be jealous, folks…. REAL jealous…

weed infested vegetable garden / How to revive a garden you don't take care of /
1. If you don’t want a vegetable garden, please quit pretending you do. Year after year.

The only one you’re fooling is your lack of time. And your wallet!

Cut back. You’re allowed.

– – – – –

Welcome to my vegetable garden! 

This variety stays greener than green, is so prickly you can barely touch it, and thrives in drought! I should take in tours…

For cryin’ out loud… I decided I will no longer pretend to even want a vegetable garden, and just plant flowers and stuff instead. If that. Done. So done. The last two years I threw the rotten veggies in the compost for the rats wondrous fertile compost I didn’t dig out either. Perfection.

I love fresh veggies. I really do. But if you let your potatoes grow for 2 (or was it 3?) growing seasons because you never bothered to dig them up, you may be done too.

Hardy purple hydrangea bush / How to revive a garden you don't take care of /
2. Plant hydrangeas, especially if you live in the west.

Then ignore them. Forget to prune, especially. They LOVE that! You will too!

Look up hardy perennials for your zone, and plant those. Trust me.

– – – – –

Please don’t ask me how these hydrangeas thrive year after year. It must be our rain. But be assured, it is not because of me.

I don’t deserve to be blessed with this beauty, but I am going to cheat and accept anyway.

Ok, son, let’s fix up this mess… 

How to revive flowerbeds you don't take care of /
Rotten landscape ties, gone!

Plants that haven’t bloomed in years, out!

We love to garden so! I mean look at that smile…

How to revive flowerbeds you don't take care of /
Oops… how did this get here…

3. Promise to pay your son in food or money for his amazing strength, and he may even smile for the camera. For a quick 5 min or so.

Just be really quick with that clicker… 

Purple hydrangea bush / How to revive flowerbeds you don't take care of /

4. If you can’t keep up with it, mow it instead.

– – – – –

My wise gardening brother always use to say, “If you can’t keep up with a flowerbed, it’s better to mow.”

Or in our case, host a very dirty sandbox.

Once I figure out what to do with this, we’ll take care of it.


Weeds with an old rusty bike / How to revive flowerbeds you don't take care of /
5. If you have a weed infested yard, prop an old bike against it for that romantic barnyard feel.

– – – – –

All that’s missing is a cow pie.

I seriously have a post written about taking advantage of perennials in your yard HERE.

But since we don’t have a barn to haul our weedhay today…

How to revive flowerbeds you don't take care of /

We just weeded. That took a few days…

6. If your beds are riddled with weeds, pretend you’re the weatherman and your monsoon forecast came true… saturate the soil with water, then weed.

– – – – –

Yes. This is the same corner. Can you believe there was a pretty cute tree under that mess?

How to revive flowerbeds you don't take care of /
7. How to revamp an overgrown flowerbed for free:

a) Remove the toys.

b) Water the soil well, then pull out the weeds.

c) Shape the shrubs.

d) Edge your flowerbeds like a pro… for free. My tutorial is HERE.

e) Fluff up the soil, or better yet, top it up each year.

(then water the soil so it looks even more fertile for pictures… but don’t tell a soul)

How to revive flowerbeds you don't take care of /
Oh thank goodness for perennials…

How to revive flowerbeds you don't take care of /
8. No beach nearby? Pull off that summertime vibe by using a pool ladder for your trampoline… that you no longer use either.

or better…

9. Get rid of the trampoline and ladder.

Anyone local want them? Must have truck….

– – – – –

Not a weed in sight. Even the soil at the base of the trees got cleaned up! So proud.

10. Running a landscape tie against the base of a row of trees is an easy way to keep things cleaned up.

How to revive flowerbeds you don't take care of /
11. Seriously… the best and final tip is to edge your flowerbeds on a curve for free with just a half moon edger.

It will give you an upscale finished look that will blow you away!

How to edge flowerbeds like a pro via Funky Junk Interiors.54 PM
How to edge your flowerbeds like a pro… read it HERE.

weeding before-2

Cleaned up back yard / How to revive flowerbeds you don't take care of /
Ahhh. Better!

The flowerbeds are far from perfect. They are still flowerless. But at least they are CLEAN!

And now ready for more.

Now… to start the front yard cleanup. Sigh…

Edged flowerbeds /
Just for fun, here’s a post where my yard has never looked better…. it was a good year! Read it HERE.

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Categories: Gardening, Junk Drawer, Seasonal, Summer
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27 thoughts on “How to revive flowerbeds you don’t take care of

  1. I can so relate. My perennial bed is so overgrown and desperately needs a radical clean out. We have been having torrential rain so I took advantage the other day to yank a bunch of weeds and overgrowth. Still needs tons of work and new mulch but from a distance, with eyes squinted, I can tell myself it looks better! 😉

    Love your honesty on life’s realities!

  2. Love these tips Donna and I can relate. I’m running a farm and garden, the home is kind of taking care of itself this time of year. I’ve been scaling back in preparation of selling next spring. Here’s a thought add in some herb plants like oregano or thyme, they bloom, grow year round and you can enjoy them while you cook. I planted oregano in a tin garbage can, love it. Your yard looks great, guess I need to go tackle my weeds now. -Carole

  3. It has basically rained nonstop here, and just dealing with the tall weeds is challenging. Then my husband fell ill, and now has advanced cancer, and the yard is mowed by a friend, but the weeds await me on this 2 acre place. We never put in a garden, so at least that is not looming over us. Your place looks wonderful, good work!

    • Karen, I’m so very sorry to hear about your husband’s illness…I’d imagine you are struggling with so much right now. I dearly hope he will be okay. Please try to go easy on yourself right now…you can’t do everything all at once, right? Remember to take care of yourself, too…by doing so, it means you will be there when your loved ones need you. Sending much healing energy out to you and your husband and I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts.

  4. Oh, your yard looks fabulous, Donna…you and your son are to be congratulated on a wonderful job! I’m still tackling mine and, you are right, when all else fails, just gut it! That’s what I did with the one big weed-filled garden that had been left to go to seed for a decade before we took it on. Once that was gutted, I just planted a few Japanese Maple and used lots of mulch. Be careful with those hydrangeas if you plan to plant anything else among them…they can grow like weeds because they send out underground runners…they will take over your flowerbed. I’m going to try your edging technique…I love the look it gives to your beds…and yes, I AM jealous! 🙂

  5. What a difference Donna – your flower bed looks fabulous! We curved our flower beds a few years ago and it added much more interest. I was just saying to Mr. Frugalista on the weekend that our beds need some serious help. I can’t tell a weed from a flower but it all feels so overwhelming. Going to try your watering the soil first before weeding. Hopefully I’m pulling weeds rather than plants – yikes!

  6. Living in SD, where I carry a swimsuit & snow shovel in my car trunk because it’s possible I might need both on any certain day, gardening is a challenge. From May-Sept. SD has hailstorms plus I am also alone maintaining a huge yard that 35 yrs. ago was red clay and rock. Not wanting to think about the time and money I’ve spent on things I want to grow, I now plant only perennials and tuck veggies and “non destructive” flowers like geraniums and marigolds in my flower and herb beds. Would you believe I edged all my beds for the first time this year making an incredible difference…all thanks to your post!

  7. It looks like your son can hardly contain all that glee! Seriously…your yard is looking great. We know our gardening limitations…a few cherry tomatoes (already harvesting – really sweet!), 8 green bean plants (We’ll probably get five handfulls this year!) and we’re trying a different regular-sized tomato plant. The others have failed miserably. I think we might get a carrot or two — at least we got that many last year! Oh, and maybe a dozen strawberries off the one plant. I didn’t even expect fruit. They called it an ornamental, and I bought it for the flowers! Enjoy!

  8. Donna, For me, this was one of your best posts…..EVER. Once again, you were real and showed us that lots of us are not perfect….in the yard or in the house. That we are not the only ones who have overgrown, out of control weeds at times, have bitten off more than we can chew because it seemed like a good and doable idea at the time. In the spring I want to buy Everything and usually have too many flowers (too many annuals) to take care of by mid-summer. And then I think that buying perennials would have been a better investment in the long run. Kinda like the tortoise and the hare….I want too many blooms too fast instead of being patient and waiting for more long lasting plants. One horticulturist I know liked to plant what he called ‘green gardens’. Just beautiful green grasses,etc. It was simple and beautiful…and easy care.
    Sometimes, when overwhelm starts to take over, I want to eliminate most all of it and turn it back to grass. Bit by bit I will probably do some of that by pushing the outer edges of the flower beds back.
    Maybe it follows that less is more.

  9. Love your yard.. I started a garden this year to give food to the mission and I have been weeding ever since. Glad food and pay got your son to help.. I couldn’t even bribe mine with those goodies.. ha ha.

  10. Hi Donna, oooh so pretty and so neat and clean I have a lot to do in my yard, mostly the concrete jungle lol but I do have potted plants and a very small herb garden, trying again this year, fighting with critters, ick ick ick! Anyway love your yard, I might plop a 40 footer container back there and make another workshop or dogette house lol. Anyway wanted to let you know following you a long time, love all your ideas and creative soul.

    I follow a lot of bloggers and read just now about one that was apologizing to her fans across the pond, for not having or allowing international sales with regard to her stencils. Was wondering if you have opened up your sales to outside CA and US? Apparently she was getting a lot of requests to ship overseas. Your stencils are gorgeous just thought I would mention 🙂 because if you haven’t you might be pleasantly surprised at how many would love to purchase them. Thank you for your posts, love them, you crack me up when a laugh is needed here at the cottage! 🙂 thank you and keep them coming! kat =^.^=

    • Yes! I need some kind of workshop extension, but it’s not easy with our septic system in the way. Still dreaming that one up.

      And yes to shipping world wide with the stencils. I have it stated in my store to just obtain a quote from their area. If they are willing to pay, we are willing to ship! 🙂

  11. You make it looks so easy, Donna!
    That view is breath taking. Give me mountains over a beach view any day!
    Love your little oasis!

  12. Wow, what a difference a lot of work makes! Your sweet birdhouse and all your funky treasures really pop now. Can you send your son down this way to work in my yard?

  13. I would love to use an edger on my flower beds. But seriously it is impossible. We grow rocks, you can’t dig with a shovel, you literally claw out a hole with a hand claw & a heavy steel fence post to break up the rocks. So, I will keep my flower beds but they will never bed beautifully edged.

    I have always loved your garden pictures.

  14. Your flower bed looks cute to me!

    I have always loved the look of a shovel edged garden bed. It adds a maintained air to event the worst kept garden – and I’ve had more than my share!

    I’ve resorted to raised beds for my veggies – I just don’t have the energy to fight my clay soil for another year.

  15. that coleus really pops next to that salvia.if you’d mulch,you wouldn’t have to weed …..they are looking good,tho! nice view you have,also.I laughed at your opening…I’m one of those people who managed to keep a fairly neat house(by making everyone in the family do their share),1/4 acre of flowerbeds and farm 4 acres of vege,25 years ago,before I I’m lucky to do the house and flowerbeds…hahaha just bought the forever house,and starting new beds,so not much to keep up with at the moment,in between rains…

  16. I neeed this simple and honest. I have everything I need and maybe a bike to cover the weeds. I need advice on blackberry in my back yard and uneven lawn but a pretty yard tht just needs creativity

    • Rhonda, blackberry bushes are HARD to control. I’d be inclined to clip them right to the ground if you don’t want them any longer. But be very diligent, they’ll come back up each year unless you dig up the roots.

      Any way to just trim them back abit for that ‘rambling field’ look? They can be pretty cool in their own way.. 🙂

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