Thursday, April 25, 2013

Around The Garden

It hasn't been much fun walking around the garden lately, so little to see for most of the spring, but I am inspired by the blooms over the past week and hope that warmer weather will come soon.
Forsythia Bronxensis Greensteem
This is a smaller lemon yellow variety.
Daffodil Sagitta
Daffodil Marieke
Daffodil Itzim
Very early and lasts longer than Tete-A-Tete
Daffodil Spellbinder
Daffodil Fortissimo 
Front South Border
The containers haven't really taken off yet, daffodils coming up in middle.  It will be time to plant for summer before anything happens here!
This is the time of year I enjoy the groundcover Myrtle Blue Dart, adds an extra blooming dimension to the garden.  Be careful with the types of groundcover you choose or you will be tearing it and your hair out if it begins to overtake your garden.  Blue Dart is one that is a little dificult to plant through but is not invasive like other myrtles.
Hyacinth Blue Delft
These come up each year under the Itea and I hate to move them, they look so natural.
Hyacinth Pink Pearl
When Hyacinths look natural and a little floppy they are at their best, not soldiers anymore but dancers in the garden.
Daffodil Ice Follies
I am waiting for lots of blooms to open this coming week with our warmer weather.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Things To Do When Spring Has Not Sprung

We are playing a waiting game, but there are many tasks we can do while waiting for the weather to catch up with the calendar.

Prune the roses and feed them.

Lay the mulch and cut down all of the dead foliage.

Feed the acid loving plants and sprinkle a general fertilizer throughout the rest of the garden.  I have found that this doesn't have to be a major chore, I just pretend I am feeding the chickens!  For specific acid loving plants and my clematis I work a small amount into the soil around the roots.

Clematis and grape hyacinth against south side
Clematis Bourbon (type 2) that you don't cut down, trim lightly

Turn over the vegetable garden, work in a slow release fertilizer like Osmocote and plant the cool weather veggies, like lettuce, radishes spinach, onions, etc.

Trim the hydrangeas that bloom on old and new wood in the shape of an ice cream cone for overall blooms from bottom to top.  I have learned to leave Endless Summer alone, no trimming except what is dead when it begins to leaf out and fertilize very sparingly because it is nitrogen sensitive.  Too much nitrogen and it will produce more leaves than flowers.

Hydrangea Limelight
The grasses can be trimmed to about six inches high, do not shave them or the crown can be damaged.  I have learned not to fertilize grasses as they tend to grow excessively and become floppy.

Heucheras can look pretty bad this time of year.  Trim off all of the shriveled leaves and make sure the roots have not heaved out of the ground, gently push back down if this has happened.

Get the containers ready, replace potting soil where necessary, add water crystals towards the bottom of the pots.  I had a great suggestion from a fellow blogger to line hayracks with plastic bags and put holes all around one inch down from the top for excess water.  I am definitely going to try this for the summer as my baskets always dry out quickly.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Mulch, Mulch

I have used all different types of mulch throughout the years, cedar, no float, bark, Scott's Brown Mulch and lately a shredded hardwood mulch from a local nursery. 

This last one is the one my dogs have voted the best as they immediately want to roll in it!  It is the most expensive but it looks wonderful in my garden beds.

The larger mulch lasts longer and does not wash away easily, useful in areas that retain a lot of water.

About half of my garden does not require mulch, Blue Dart Myrtle and Liriope cover the ground.  Groundcovers though great looking all year can be difficult to plant through and I have chosen to keep my rose and more delicate perennial beds groundcover free.

My grass in the back garden looks terrible this year from lack of winter snow cover (grass dessication) and I am not sure it will all come back without help.  I have lightly raked and over seeded.  Maybe I should mulch the whole yard?

This winter has caused some other issues with the emerging spring bulbs (some had come up in the fall) tops are burned and the flowers look like they are going to be blasted (dried up inside).


My poor Accolade Elm in front that had been root damaged over and over was trimmed by the village this winter to accommodate the root loss.  Last year it was severely attacked by inchworms leaving it with a multitude of chewed leaves.  This spring I will treat it with a twelve month systemic by Bayer to get rid of the inchworms and fertilize for the first time in two years.  It was recommended not to fertilize after root damage (too much stimulation).

That crooked branch that is jutting out belongs to the tree across the street, hope this newer little Elm survives!

Oh well, I am cleaning my outdoor furniture, fertilizing the beds, pruning the roses and pretending that spring has come!