Thursday, May 23, 2019

May Flowers Indeed

Let's see what's happening in Robin's Nest in this merry month of May, shall we? Here's a clue. LOTS

I know spring is usually wet here in Central Ohio, but this year it's been exceptionally wet. It can be frustrating when I want to go out and work, but it's too wet. But overall, it's wonderful because it turns the world bright green. Also, our summer generally turns dry, so it's good to have the boost of a wet spring to start us off right.

We've also been a roller coaster of temperatures. It was chilly, then it was hot, then it was chilly, then it was hot. I'd say we are about a week, maybe two behind our normal time table for the month of May. The vegetable garden went in late this year, and the containers were all filled a bit late too. But it's done now. I always like to record the start of my containers, even though they might look a little sparse at this point. Later I always compare to see how far they've come.

There's a certain exuberance to the May garden, don't you think? Everything is strongly green and lush at this point. For the most part, the bugs haven't yet started to munch, and the diseases haven't started. Let's just say that the month of May is like a young adult, still in the prime of life.

It's also a time when new flowers open frequently. But I think I said the same thing about April. Well, I suppose that's what spring is all about, isn't it?

I'm finally seeing the roses starting to bloom this year. It seems that most years, my roses suffer greatly from winter dieback. That means spring is a true do over for them. After winter you'll often hear me say "Oh, my roses are half dead, they'll never bloom this year!" Luckily I'm always wrong about this. My theory about why roses do poorly here is that our winters are just as cold as Michigan winters ever were, but we don't get enough snow to insulate the rose roots from the cold. I  wonder if I'm right.

May always seems frantic to me, as I gather and plant everything. I'm a planner, so over the winter I start making plans and drawing sketches of how I want everything to look. This year I even went so far as to make an exact list of every plant I needed to buy, and where they were all going to go. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it is a pleasant way to "garden" during the winter.

June is almost here, which means my life slows down a little. Many of my scheduled activities go on hiatus, giving me more time to spend in the garden. I'm not always gardening in the garden. Sometimes I'm just wandering through, taking pictures, or simply resting on the patio with a good book. It's a time that I treasure.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. You'll have to come back next month to see what's happening in the June nest. We'll talk again then.

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!