Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Welcome April!

If you ever chat with gardeners, you may find that we often carry on about how delightful the current month is in the garden. As each month arrives, it becomes our new favorite. Right now, April is my favorite month! But seriously, it is pretty hard to beat. Here in central Ohio, April is the month that flowers begin to arrive in earnest.

April is also a month of rapid changes in my garden. When I look back at my monthly photo file, I see we started out with just a few flowers and a faded lawn. But by month's end, the grass has transitioned to a rich, deep green, and new flowers appear almost daily. It's best not to miss a single day of checking for fresh blooms.

But it hasn't been all warmth and sunshine this month, that's for sure. However, there's one good thing about cool weather in the spring garden, it makes the bulb blooms last much longer.

Not all the April flowers come from bulbs, but I'd say most do. Still, I've seen hellebores, primrose, and brunnera all in bloom this month, and of course pansies and violets.

The blooming trees have been especially gorgeous this year, all over town. I've got the dreaded ornamental pear and my beloved redbud to show off myself. My crabapples have started to bloom, but they aren't doing well this year. I think they have a disease. Sure hope they can be saved.

But it's really all about the tulips this time of year. I dearly love tulips! Most of them I treat as annuals, but sometimes I get lucky and see repeat blooms.

Cooler weather has allowed me to enjoy extended bloom time this year. I'm delighted! I especially like these coral colored beauties, as they've been blooming for nearly two weeks. I don't often allow orange in my garden, but I'm glad I broke my rules for these. I intend to continue breaking the rules, as these have become a new favorite.

It's not that I have anything against orange, I actually love it. But my garden theme colors are pink, purple and yellow. That's why most of my tulip colors look more like this.

Tomorrow is May 1st, so soon I'll be saying that May is the best month in my garden. I'll have my containers all planted, the roses will bloom, bearded iris will arrive, and many other surprises await. But for now, April is my very favorite!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

March Forth!

We often see a little bit of spring in late February here in central Ohio, but there's no guarantee that it will happen that way. But once it turns to March, spring generally begins in earnest, despite the still chilly weather.

The weather is slowly warming, with emphasis on the SLOW. And we've had lots of rain. Occasionally we saw a little warmth and sunshine this month, so on those days I made sure to drop all my other activities in order to do garden cleanup. It felt wonderful to be back in the garden!

I've been keeping this garden blog for a good number of years now, so you may have seen these early spring sights here before. Maybe this is nothing new, but it doesn't really lose its luster for me. When the first flowers show up after a long, cold winter, I'm just as happy every single year.

It's the pops of color that make the first flowers so exciting. Winter here is very drab, with very little snow cover. Once the world starts showing color again, it's a welcome change from the endless dreary days of winter. However, there's one favorite plant that is far from drab in the late winter, and that's Sedum Angelina. If you've ever visited my blog before, you know I have a deep appreciation for this stuff. If you decide to try it, know that it needs full sun, very little water and it spreads freely when all these needs are met. But it is easy to move if it gets a little overly enthusiastic. This is its winter coloring. Once warm weather returns, it will return to being bright green.

By the end of March, I'm ready to put pansies into my planters. I know they like chilly weather, but it's still a little risky to plant this early. I just figure they'll end up with a bit of snow on their heads, but they'll mostly shrug it off. I just have to have pansies, even with little snow hats.

But the opposite of snow was our spring visit to Florida. Mostly we go to visit family, while also enjoying a bit of early spring.

And now it's back to Ohio, where I anxiously await the arrival of real spring weather. It's not going to be today though. Temperatures dropped about 30 degrees overnight and there's snow in the air. I thought March was supposed to go out like a lamb? Not this time!