What would you say if I told you there’s a no-sweat, no-dig way to have a fabulous perennial garden in less than one year? You’d better believe it, because it’s true! Instead of digging down, just build your beds up in layers. Here’s how:

Step 1: In late summer (ahem, that’s right now!), stake out the site where you want your new bed, then cover the area with a 1-inch-thick layer of newspapers.

Step 2: Place a few rocks over the papers to hold them down, and soak the area thoroughly. Water again as needed over the next few weeks to keep the papers moist.

Step 3: In the fall, remove the rocks, then spread 6 to 8 inches of leaves over the area. Top that with 8 to 12 inches of good soil or compost.

Step 4: Over the winter, sit back, and let all of the ingredients settle in. Come spring, you’ll have a loose, fluffy flower bed that’ll be a joy for you to plant in—and for your perennials to grow in!

For even more terrific ideas that’ll have your landscape looking magnificent in every season, check out my Year-Round Bloomers book. It’s packed with quick and easy tips for fancier flowers, brighter blooms, showier shrubs and taller trees. In a word, it’s BLOOMERIFIC!