Here's a few things I do when the ground is still frozen
Winter has left us in the doldrums so the first good warm day and some sunshine makes us want to hurry outside and work in the garden and flower beds. I know for a fact it almost makes me panicky to want be outside and doing something garden-y. I can already smell the soil and it calls to me. However, the soil in shaded areas around our home is still frozen with little ice crystals. In the warmer areas the daffodils and crocus are up about 3 inches. With the melting snow and rain we have experienced in March the soil is still too wet to work or walk on. I definitely do not need to compact my wonderful clay soil any further. So, I busy myself with cutting down our ornamental grasses and cutting back the sedums and coneflowers and any other tall plants that I can reach from the edge of the bed. Earlier in March I managed to cut back my two trumpet vines and wisteria to keep them in line and pruned some shrubs back.
Dealing with deer
While it was too cold to be outdoors, I attended three gardening workshops to help with gardening fever and gain some new knowledge and meet with fellow gardeners. As in any situation when gardeners get together we all agree that one of our biggest nemesis is our local deer populations. As some of my daylilies have popped a few inches the four-legged flower munchers have already trimmed back several clumps. I am one of those people who have decided to quit fighting it and learn to live with it as it is a fact of life here in Bellefontaine. I spray my plants with foul smelling concoctions and even thought a little voodoo might work. The town deer are so tame they just stand and stare at you as you stomp your feet, wave your arms and holler obscenities at them. They probably think I am thoroughly mad.
Time to remove, transplant and replace
Now is a good time of year to remove, transplant and replace shrubs that may have become too large for their current spot in your yard. We just removed two privets from the back of our patio as the shrub is now on the APHIS Invasive Species List. I have fallen in love with hydrangeas and replaced the privets with the “Fire and Ice” Hydrangea paniculata. The flower heads start out a cream color in spring then progress to a blushing pink by mid-summer. In late summer into fall the heads turn a beautiful shade of burgundy.
A few last tips to get your garden ready
If you have not already done so, now is a good time to thoroughly clean out your birdfeeders and any birdhouses in your yard to prevent disease. The birds in our yard have been checking out available housing. It is also a good time to clean and sharpen your gardening tools before you begin your spring gardening.
Never fear, Spring is here and I look forward to the April showers that will bring May flowers. Happy Gardening! ~ Shelley