Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Spring Do's and Don'ts .. why ????

I would rather look at pretty plant pictures and day dream about what I want to accomplish in the garden this year .. but reality check lists have to be drawn up and adhered to for the sake of my garden and perhaps my sanity too ?
At the moment we are in another "winter" slump .. I'm in 5b growing zone by the way, but some of my blogging friends, who are in the same growing zone, are inching closer to Spring than I am.

Lisa from Greenbow ... has shown some of her gorgeous hellebore flowers that are smiling.
She does qualify these are well established plants so they do more than survive winter .. they flourish!
BUT ? what was more of a stunning surprise for her, and what really drew me in to her post ? was the discovery that her tree peony that she thought had perished .. read her story ... had gone dormant after being cut back .. retaining life in the roots .. and was showing her it SURVIVED !
Now originally she cut the plant down after thinking it was dead after a brutal summer .. and was going to dig it out in Spring .. instead it yelled signaled to her that "I'm ALIVE" by producing foliage fingers I call them.

How many times .. after a lot of experience .. have everyone of us gardeners dug up and discarded a plant we thought was DEAD ...
I did it with buddleia davidii Black Knight ... you know how buddleia can be tricky being the last in the Spring to show signs of life right ? .. no ... no excuse but a learning curve was reached.
I know there are others that got the boot from my garden because I was not patient enough.

So on the top of my list ? ... BE PATIENT .... no matter how much I want things to be sorted and neat, it might just be too much for my garden to live up to .. too soon !
I not only demand too much from my garden but of myself as well .. that is the bit of dread I have with Spring .. I will work myself into the ground .. hubby will sometimes literally have to help my up off my knees, and into the house .. I draw the line about helping me into the shower though .. I have some pride dignity ? haha

OK .. so .. I've touched on two don'ts here ..
Don't expect over the top things of your garden in the Spring .. period .. give it time!
Don't expect .. as either an older gardener, or one with physical drawbacks, to just jump in and work yourself into the ground with enthusiasm .. it won't help you or your garden.

Do's ? .. what all the good advice gives you .. don't for pity sake walk on the garden while it is trying to wake up rain boots save me from sinking in mud .. but who saves the "mud" aka garden, from me? .. common sense ... just use common sense ... no intense scientific calculations needed.
If it is squishy ? BIG RED LIGHT .. let it acclimatize and dry out with the new Spring weather.
Another Do .. when you can .. cut that tattered brown foliage of any plant, because it is not coming back to look like fresh green growth.
As a rule of thumb for hellebore I cut it all off, to let the plant put out new growth ..
It can look drastic, but it has worked for me for years .. I have a whole raised bed dedicated to hellebore and once that foliage is set for the year , looks wonderful.

The BIG question is ... will I listen to my own advice ?


CiNdEe said...

We had a nice warm February so was able to do a lot of clean up and getting ready for Spring to Spring up and out! We have a tree guy coming to remove a huge willow sometime soon and then we are going to put up a gazebo in that spot hopefully. One that works with my yard. I found one at a local nursery that is made of metal. It is so pretty can't wait.
I hope your Spring comes soon.(-:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I can hardly stay out of the garden this time of year even though I can't do much out there. I am good for about 2 hours of putzing around in the garden right now. I have been trying to pace myself. ha... I started with just an hour or so out there. So if I keep that up maybe I will work myself into several more hours. Yes, I have been keeping track of my time out there. My neighbor always accuses me of being out there "all of the time". Now we all know that isn't true. I am just curious about how much time I do spend out there. I am still trying to decide if the time I spend outside just walking around is countable. I do some of my best thinking about the garden walking the paths.
I am very impatient. I once threw a huechra into the compost thinking it was dead and it lived the winter there. I pulled it out of the compost the next spring, planted it and then it died, again. Sigh...I wonder if I am the only one that has killed a plant twice. ha...
Thanks for the link love.

outlawgardener said...

How interesting. I thought we'd both given up on that sanity thing a long time ago but I digress. Good advice about cutting hellebore foliage completely off. It's the right thing to do for their health although I seldom get around to it. Also good advice to be patient, especially in the spring. Happy gardening!

Alistair said...

Joy, I definitely get impatient in Spring. The last 10 days or so we saw the worst of our Winter weather. Today, I was potting up plants and simply looking for stuff to do outdoors.
ps - A few days ago my website host informed me that my subscription was coming to an end. I renewed it with another company. My site was down for a few hours. When it came back up again there were two or three issues. One of the issues was, some of the comments on my latest post was missing, yours was one of them.
I would like to see if comments are getting through if it's not too much of an imposition could you take a quick look, and leave a comment don't waste time on it just say hi and it will let me know all is well.
(god, I dont half go on) Alistair

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Cindee girl I love your excitement about the gazebo .. I know it will be gorgeous .. you have such talent for setting such a pretty atmosphere in your gardens .. they are magical.
Yes .. I am jealous of your weather .. with being able to get things done at this time of year. But I also know you struggle with some very hot and dry summers .. so it is a bit of a price to pay for that good weather. I hope it won't be a problem this year though .. you have so much on the go .. can't wait to see it !

OMG Lisa girl .. you are NOT alone in killing a plant more than once .. but I will leave that subject alone .. for now? LOL
You don't have to count our "thinking/planning" time in the garden if we are not doing actual work .. well, our brains are working but not our body ? .. I like that time when we envision new plans .. it is fun and we all need that fun time right ?
You are so right to pace yourself .. I am trying to take that angle and work with it too!

Peter .. you are too right but we try to sneak in some lunacy once in a while just for the heck of it ? LOL .. I am great at giving advice .. but as for following it ? oops happens a lot of the time.. but ? I have a thing for cutting off hellebore foliage .. OCD perhaps because I am obsessed by it ? haha

Alistair .. it seems most of us are having a hard time getting rid of winter and you are way over there across the pond ! .. I did stop by and leave another comment for you, I hope it worked ! Nothing more irritating than glitches that drive us up the garden wall ! LOL

Jennifer said...

Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to gardening. I think one of the other surprises is how resilient plants are. We tend to think of them as delicate, but they have a will to survive! Have a great weekend Joy!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Jennifer I go through that same cycle every year wondering how many plants I might lose .. but like you said they are far more resilient than we give them credit for .. thank goodness eh ? LOL