Embrace change. Although you have the best intentions about keeping up with gardening tasks, nature does have a way of throwing curveballs. Heavy rains and excessive heat means more mowing and weeding and less time for other jobs. Be willing to change priorities. While you may feel daunted, never be discouraged - something I often need to remind myself. If the lawn is high but the transplants you got last month really need to be planted, then postpone the mowing and start planting. The grass may grow a bit taller but those clover flowers will be a good food source for the bees. Think of gardening as working with nature, rather than fighting against it.
Bring the beauty of your garden inside. Create arrangements of flowers, foliage, and branches cut from the garden for a mix of color, texture, and form. Discover, by experimentation or by accident, how well different plants do in water. I recently pruned a low-hanging branch of Korean dogwood ( Cornus kousa) from a path and put it in a vase. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the leaves and flowers lasted several weeks in water. Always change the water at least once a week, keeping what looks fresh. Be ready to pull the faded ones and replace with newly cut stems or branches.
Patricia Schrieber is director of education
for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) ( www.phsonline.org),
and co-owner of Valentine Gardens ( www.valentine-gardens.com).