Macunovich takes readers through the year and thoroughly explains what to do and when to do all the tasks that might be needed to have a flourishing perennial garden. Even more valuable then having all this information about caring for perennials are the tips she shares to be super efficient and spend an average of one hour per month on 100 square feet. Macunovich suggests about weeding, “Fall weeding is probably the biggest time-saving strategy in horticulture. My records indicate the first maintenance visit in spring can be shortened by as much as 75 percent if fall work is done thoroughly.” And on tools, “A five-gallon bucket may be a gardener’s greatest labor-saving device. It can serve as a bucket for soaking transplants, a bag to hold small tools or debris, and a portable stool. The only drawback is that you become over-reliant on it and annoyed when your bucket disappears.”
Other handy tips from her many years of practical experience include how to install edgings correctly so that they do their job and stay in place. Macunovich includes an informative line drawing to illustrate how to avoid pesky air pockets and get the correct perennial planting depth.
In the record keeping section, Macunovich offers her estimation of how much time is needed to maintain 100 sq. ft. of a landscape on the average throughout the three growing seasons, from mowing the lawn (eight minutes per month) to annual flowers (twenty minutes per month) and perennial beds (60 minutes per month).