Friday, January 15, 2010

Well, it has been a long time since my last post, and with the ground covered with snow there is not much going on in the garden... at least not to the eye. In fact, those plants are still there waiting for the warmth of spring to break their dormancy. Once the snow melts in April, everything looks bleak. There is the debris that winter always leaves in its wake, and also the debris that is left over from fall when I didn't accomplish as much as I intended. If I can get a head start and rake the beds before the shoots appear it makes things so much easier. Once the plants begin to sprout you have to be much more careful so you don't injure the young shoots. For a few weeks it looks like nothing much is happening, then green starts to pop up here and there. The first plant that flowers in our area is the wild yellow violet, followed by Sweet White Violets and Bloodroot. The Bloodroot is lovely, though with warm weather its bloom time is brief. For a month or two the foliage adds interest to the garden and people invariably ask, "What's that?" Once the foliage fades I usually pull or cut the leaves and let the other plants fill in.

We started 2010 with quite a cold snap, which extended all the way to Florida. Now we are at last having a few days above freezing, and Florida has returned to a lovely 70˚, so all is well... at least for the present. I had a chance to look at some garden articles at Barnes & Noble yesterday, and put another good idea into my book of "things to do". It suggested lining a basket with pine spills when you add plants to keep the dirt from leaking out. I will try this in the spring and see if it works as well as I think it will. I usually put baskets of pansies out in April, as they are hardy and can take the cold temperatures.

I hope that 2010 will be a good year for one and all. Let the gardening begin!