Ok, so gardening is supposed to be "green", right? Gardeners are the stewards of the earth and should be working more with nature than against it. Pruning, soil care, composting and proper planting are all part of the healthy garden.
What has happened to the landscape and gardening industry over the past century is that in many cases we (gardeners and customers and designers) have come to think of the landscape as exterior furniture to be manipulated by machinery and chemicals to achieve an idealized goal of the perfect garden. That nandina grouping in that foundation bed is not a couch or neglected counterspace but a growing plant. The trees around your yard, even if they are listed as "dwarf" will get bigger. We've come to think of a lawn that is techno-green as a healthy lawn. We think of a static garden as a "good" garden and forget about the dynamics of a garden.
Maintenance of the gardens in this area needs to be done year round but some of the tactics that have been used are outdated and often work against us in the garden. Removing all that leaf debris and applying compost seems like a good idea but can cause poor local soils not to mention excess labor and debris/ material charges.
Coming up in this space, I will be discussing some of these ideas and more and describe more details about what can be done to bring the garden into more "green friendly" practices. Go Green!