Friday, March 2, 2012

Spring gardening

     I love to garden. I am already getting itchy to be out in my flower beds and cleaning out the winter debris. There are signs of spring and I have seen several robins around. (Though I think some robins never even left for the winter, because it was such a mild one.) But it is still too wet and too cold to be working in the garden..  I am already planning on where I am going to extend my paths through my "wild areas". That's what I call my prairie plantings. I had ignored them for a few years and the paths had gotten overgrown. But these are tall prairie grasses and herbaceous plants. Some are 9 or 10 feet tall. Without paths, no one is going to see some of the smaller treasures hidden in amongst the giants. For example, last year when my husband went to mow off the prairie stuff in late October as he likes to do. (We are not allowed to burn off the prairie which is what is recommended, so we mow it each year to get rid of dogwood and birch seedlings that would otherwise take over). Anyway -- when he started mowing he found a medium height monkshood blooming in the middle of the cup plant. He didn't mow it down because he thought I might enjoy seeing it finish its blooming season. He sometimes does sweet things like that. The bare stalks are still out there. So without paths treasures can be completely hidden. I need to plan those paths and then plant some other smaller treasure along them and cut back the giants to allow for this. I have a lot of offsets in my other beds that I can move to the wild area for that reason: purple coneflower, shasta daisy, spiderwort, cassia, and others. I can certainly fill in some of the path borders nicely. But maybe I'll purchase some little showy treasures. I had tried prairie smoke, and pasque flower before and they have killed out. Maybe the clay has been broken up enough now by the giants to allow these little guys to make a go of it. And I used to have swamp milkweed, and lobelia scattered around but they have killed out, perhaps from some dry summers. They like it moist. Maybe I could plant them at the edge of the lawn where my husband runs the sprinklers. I have some wild lupine seeds to scatter. So you can see I have all kinds of plans for the "wild areas".
     My beds around the house are in pretty good shape but they can always use a little tidying up. Shrubs need a little pruning. And it always buy some annuals to stick in empty corners and I fill pots with annuals in gorgeous showy color combinations.
     My thoughts are just tumbling over each other like my unstaked dahlias do at the end of the fall flowering season. You can see that I am getting very excited about the upcoming season. Well, someone sent me this video. It served to relax my aspirations a little bit, providing some views of flowers that can fill the void of late winter. Check it out!

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