How thankful I am that there is balance in nature. Last week I complained about the rain and the lack of opportunity to garden. The end of this week promises to come through with sun or part sun, no rain (as in 0% chance) and highs around 50 deg. Wow! What a turnaround. There will probably be night time frosts, so I can’t get too carried away, but I should be able to get quite a bit done in my garden.
Before I share my plans in my own garden, let me tell you about the new arrivals at the nursery. Almost all the fruit trees and berries have arrived. Most of them are “bare root”, as in no soil on the roots. We hold them in bins of sawdust so the roots don’t dry out. Since there’s no pot or soil the price is less. Planting in late winter gives them a little extra time to root out before the warm, dry weather hits. Also, the selection is best now. We just got a large order of blueberries. They are in containers. We have found that the selection and value was best in potted blueberries. Most varieties need another variety nearby to produce fruit. So you should plant at least 2, maybe 3.
Bare root roses are will be available by the weekend. There may be one small order that hasn’t arrived. All the varieties are only available bare root for a short (1-2 weeks) time and you can save a few dollars when you buy them that way.
The first of 2 orders of summer flowering bulbs are here. Dahlias, gladiolas, and lilies are among the items that arrived. Also on this order were a few varieties of packaged potatoes, 3 or 4 types of garlic and dry onion sets. Garlic needs to go in the ground right away. Also, we have growing starts of garlic.
Our houseplant section is full again in preparation for Valentine’s Day. We received
an order of orchids a week early and there are some interesting types, including one that smells like a chocolate, vanilla dessert. Anthuriums, with tropical, heart-shaped, waxy flowers are available in pink and red. There are fragrant jasmine on hoops and blooming miniature roses. Also, we have the most peace lilies I have seen in awhile and they are all blooming. Every day I wander into that greenhouse and there is something new. It’s making me want to take a few home with me.
Finally, we have a number of different types of primroses: Belarina doubles, fairy
primroses, obconicas and 3 types of the common primroses. Not everyone is a fan, but primroses are my favorite late winter flower. The yellow ones are fragrant!
Now for my personal gardening plans. As the mornings promise to be chilly, I plan to let it warm up before I go to work outside. So Saturday morning I’m going to check out the Orchid Show at the nursery. I missed it last year and I really want to see it this time. Then in the afternoon I have the following list I am hoping to complete:
1. Prune the raspberries. I planted 3 everbearing varieties and now I have a whole bed of them. Pruning raspberries is something I have a difficult time explaining to other people because I really haven’t done much of it. Previously I had one plant that wasn’t contained and “traveled” in my yard and the neighbors. By pruning to keep it out of the way of my blueberries everything worked. Now with the forest of canes that I have, I finally get to get first hand experience. I am told to cut off the canes that have branches as these are the ones that are done producing and are dead. It’s also a good idea to shorten the live canes to a strong bud. I’ll report back on how I do.
2. Cut back all the perennials that I missed in the fall. Things like daylilies, peonies and Siberian iris. Especially the lady’s mantle along the driveway. It’s looking pretty ratty.
3. Remove the African daisies that I planted to fill in my beds but are now looking really bad. They may survive and bloom again in late spring, but right now they are so ugly I can’t stand it.
4. Prune back our monster Morning Light (or is it Yaku Jima) Maiden grass. Actually, this is my husband’s task. Last year we waited too late and the new growth had started. He actually used an electric hedge trimmer on it. Don’t tell my sister that I told you, as she is appalled at that method. Erica, my sister, prefers to use a sickle to cut back all her perennials and grasses. Of course, she does not have a 4 foot diameter grass to chop back.
5. Transplant an Exbury azalea that got tucked in too shady of a spot. I have a place where one plant died and the azalea will work well there.
6. Walk through the garden, look at all the bulbs poking their heads out of the ground and enjoy the plants that are blooming. I’m hoping to pick a wee bouquet of sweet violets to perfume the house.