| Catmint has some manners, unlike catnip.|
Some consider it a substitute for lavender.
The first new plant I noticed was cat mint, a mint that behaves better than catnip and some other mints that want to take over the world by root growth.
I saw the first asparagus fern yesterday, which means it was above ground long before I noticed. I could harvest the spears this year.
The daffodils came up, got snow on them, and the blooms were rescued for the altar. We are done with the snow - I hope - and a new batch of daffodils came up in time for the altar.
Tulips are above ground but not blooming yet. In my yard and others the grape hyacinths are in bloom. They are not grapes or hyacinths, but they bloom a long time and spread slowly on their own.
|Calladiums are late to sprout |
but offer color in the shade all summer.
Roses that were questionable are now greening up and the early growers are completely leafed out. The first leaves of the roses were nipped by the sudden frosts we had, but that does not set back roses. That is why I waited a bit to prune. Icy mornings were not motivating and I figured that would spur growth at the wrong time.
|Veterans Honor and Falling in Love -|
both roses are splendid to grow and give away.
The backyard fence roses - on Mr. Gardeners side - were pruned back severely, 50% or more. The criteria are:
- Deadwood - looking like dried up sticks.
- Blackened canes.
- Crossing canes.
The timid rosarians need to remember this - roses grow on new canes, so spurring growth by pruning is always good. We have several days of rain ahead - just what I want - so I am pruning the roses in the main garden.
|Once upon a time I had more roses than vases.|
Some well-placed hints and a few garage sales
I have been reading more of Teaming with Fungus, and that supports the idea that soil should be left alone to promote the fragile fungal growth.
|Late to bloom, crepe myrtles delight the neighborhood.|
The crepe myrtles are dormant, which would alarm me. However, I recall the long-time resident being late to leaf out and flower, but dominating the block the rest of the summer.
| Butterfly bush is our waiting room|
for the birds wanting to enjoy the feeder and baths.
The butterfly bushes from last year were leafing out when the frosts ended that. I am waiting for new growth so I can prune them back.
Wild strawberries are growing all over. Like the tiny weeds in the grass, they are convenient food for the bees. They grow in the deep shade and the sun, and birds plant them wherever they roost.
Former Landscaper - What Do You Have Against Grass?
Some of my work concerns ending the reign of grass in certain sections. I turned one area into blackberries - with some regret now. They have sun and plenty of moisture. Canes reach out to trip me in the driveway.
I began some hosta in the back, to take advantage of the shade and appeal to hummingbirds. The entire area is now covered with pine needles, ready for some more hosta in the future. Hosta can be very inexpensive after the buying season is over.
The massive failure of the straw bale garden remains a painful memory, so I covered it over with cardboard and mulch. In fact, many layers of organic material has made the area a paradise for earthworms.
Slugs do well in the same area, which was my melancholy experience. They multiplied and spoiled everything I tried to grow in the bales. The damp bales simply tilted growth toward slugs and away from earthworms. Slugs will always exist, so gardeners best put their salt-shakers and poisons away.
The straw bale spa for slugs will become the butterfly garden, with some easy to grow butterfly plants. Some of them, like tickseed (coreopsis), will seed themselves for future generations.
|Coreopsis jungle - for bees and butterflies and beneficial insects.|