What a welcome time of year! The weather is breaking and we all feel renewed and energized. The days are not only warmer but are growing longer with each passing day. I love not only the first blooms, but the bright chartreuse green of the foliage on the trees just as the first leaves begin to emerge. Can you recall the amazing smell of the first fresh cutting of grass, and the feel of it under your bare toes? It’s irresistible to get out into the garden and start digging. For the ladies- to heck with the manicure, just for today! There’s something very primal and nurturing about connecting with the earth.
Forsythia’s gracefully arching branches covered with golden blooms are the calling card of spring, as are the white and pink lollipop tops of flowering trees. Bulbs are a personal favorite of mine. Those first crocuses opening even if there is frost or, if we’re lucky, a little snow, remind us of the resilience of nature. There is just nothing like the scent of a vase of old-fashioned daffodils to cheer up the breakfast table and call us outdoors.
As the warmth of sunny spring days arrives, we can’t help but hit the garden centers with zeal, and are anxious to reap the rewards of spring planting. New perennials, shrubs, and trees benefit from planting as early in spring as possible. This gives them more time to acclimate to their new home before the heat of summer arrives, and the selection is at peak.
Before planting in your spring garden, homework and careful planning can save time, effort, money, and potential disappointment. A great start is to really take stock of your existing landscape and prepare a shopping list, preferably with a three to five year plan in mind. I have made many trips to the garden center and been captured like a kid in a candy store, lured by my eyes and horticultural ambition into making purchases that might not be appropriate for my garden or particular growing conditions. The sheer number of choices can feel daunting.
When making selections among those blooming beauties, remember to read the labels on trees, shrubs, perennials, etc., and have some idea how your choices will blend into your existing landscape. The plant tags provide important information on culture such as sun or shade requirements, ultimate size (they aren’t kidding), planting instructions as well as bloom time.
Next post- more on spring gardening…
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