Energy from the sun

I rejoice following two fifty degree days, with another two to follow. Yes, another spell of cold is in the forecast, and possibly more snow, but this break from cold, snow, and ice brings the first hard evidence that spring is near, or at least getting nearer.

While some frost remains in exposed soil in this shaded garden, a layer of soft ground over the freeze in the small rear lawn makes a slippery walk down the slope. In a sunnier spot deer tracks are several inches deep, and until yesterday’s thaw there was evidence of deer crossing the frozen koi pond.

These are the first days that much of anything has been done in the garden, and tomorrow I will get on to chores that were planned to begin no sooner than early March. I am anxious to get moving, so after the multitude of small branches littering the front garden were gathered and disposed, I pulled the tanned blades of Japanese Forest grasses, and the few sedges (Carex) that are not evergreen.

I could not resist digging to split one overgrown Forest grass, moving a substantial clump to the new area dug in December in the lower, rear garden. I will hold off on planting any of the five small Japanese maples stashed in the greenhouse, but only because these dwarfs will be placed between larger plants that will not be available for several weeks. If all were here today I would take advantage of this rush of energy, and after planting the grass I am encouraged that soil in the raised area is not saturated, even after a few inches of rain last week.

I see further swelling of flower buds of witch hazels (Hamamelis x intermedia), and notice the first slight yellowing at the edges of buds of paperbushes (Edgeworthia chrysantha). After a very mild late autumn, hellebores and snowdrops were on pace to match the early flowering schedule of the two recent, very mild winters, but this slowed and fell behind in the cold and snowy January. With a few mild days still to come I expect the swelling of buds to get back on track, and with my increased energy perhaps the spring cleanup will go ahead of schedule.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Carole Gertel says:

    Do you mulch your property??

    1. Dave says:

      Occasionally, I mulch a new planting area with pine bark, but most of the garden is covered by a ground layer of plants or leaves.

  2. Carole Cambria Gertel says:

    Do you cut your perennials back?? I always wondered what would the gardens look like (1/2 ac. of individual gardens) if I stopped the 53 yards of mulch each year and cutting everythiing back, removing the dead stuff and taking to landfill brush area.. Its getting really
    labor intensive!!Afraid of being overrun with weeds!!!

    1. Dave says:

      My maintenance habits are dreadful, so I must plant to minimize labor. I do remove spent leaves of perennials in late winter, in particular those with upright stems. I avoid excessive weeding by planting densely to cover ground, and by shading the ground with shrubs and trees.

  3. Joan Singh says:

    Igor a. Few small Primroses at Leidl and wanted to plant them on the front edge of a perennial bed. They seem to be cold hardy. Is it too early?

    1. Dave says:

      It is probable that these were greenhouse grown, so it would be best not to plant until the threat of low twenty and colder temperatures is past
      I would hold until the second week of March and plant in part shade if possible. They require regular moisture.

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