Thursday, April 30, 2015

Notes From the Garden

It's nearly May, and my gardens are beginning to wake up.  After a long winter, I've grown desperate for flowers and green, growing things.  The trick is to know which ones will survive those still-chilly nights ... or if they wouldn't, how to help them do so.

In my previous blog post, I talked about a raised bed greenhouse for tender plants.  It snowed since, and I lost one of my two tomato plants even though I had a cloche over it and the greenhouse cover down.  The other survived, so I'll remember that variety for next year's planting.  (The cloches I bought were from Hobby Lobby and ran about $20 on their bi-monthly 50% off sale.)

The picture at the top is Viola "Rebecca," and it's supposed to be hardy in my zone (Zone 5).  Whether or not that actually happens, I'll find out, but it appears to love shade and moist soil, and should bloom through fall if I pinch back the blooms once they die.  So far, so good, and the flowers smell like vanilla!  Yum!


My mother bought me a cast-cement bunny for the front landscaping.  I couldn't resist him.  He looks like a storybook rabbit.  A garden just doesn't seem complete without statuary or hardscaping to offset all that greenery.  If you can't afford statuary, bring home a large stone from a trip somewhere - or a trip through your local woods - to set in your garden!  It makes a wonderful memory to add to your outdoor living space.  Just be sure you have permission to take it, and that it's thoroughly cleaned before re-homing so you don't accidentally put chemicals or soil diseases into your soil.  (You can find ways to sterilize non-native stones in many resources online.)

 

My overgrown butterfly garden has managed to surprise me.  I thought it was going to need a total overhaul, but the early bulbs have flowered, and my wildly-vining clematis is beginning to leaf out.  I may just let nature do its thing, because even the creeping charlie has cute little blue flowers.  Creeping charlie is considered an invasive weed, but the bees and butterflies like it, so I leave it alone as long as it doesn't overtake other plants.  Besides, it keeps the soil in place when it rains!  Happy Spring!


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