A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Searching for signs of spring

The lovely springlike weather has tempted me out into the yard. The snow is almost all gone. I have been looking for signs of bulbs coming up. It's still much too early in the year but sometimes they get fooled and start poking up prematurely. I planted some heirloom daffodils last fall, Thalia which are white and Rip Van Winkle which are . . . gee, I don't know how to describe them. They are my first heirloom bulbs so I am especially impatient this year. Surprisingly, the Sweet William looks as if it's about to start growing. The primroses look great. The sage seems to be doing alright but the hellebores look very unhappy. Most distressing are the rosebushes. I noticed leaf buds on one of the Blaze bushes. A quick check of the others as well as my other heirloom roses revealed they were all budded. It is much, much too early for this to be happening. I know that the weather will turn cold again and I am worried that the buds will freeze and die. They have never appeared this early. I would hate to lose them. They have been doing so well for so long and I am adding a new one for the first time in years. Zephrine Drouhin, a pink climber. It is supposed to be remontant and shade tolerant. I am going to put it in the semi-shady garden at the end of the driveway. Maybe I will even splurge and buy one of those fancy pillars for it to climb.

And I am going to have to rethink my poppy planting strategy. All of the flower beds are buried under leaves. If I remove the leaves from the bed where I want to plant the poppy seeds and then recover it, I may lose the seeds in the spring when I remove the leaves permanently in March. Alternatively, if I remove the leaves, plant the seeds and then don't put the leaves back, the squirrels will smell the fresh soil and go after the seeds. So now I am considering placing the seeds in my freezer and then planting them in March when I remove the leaves from all of the gardens. With that much "fresh" soil suddenly appearing, there is less of a chance of the squirrels finding and eating the seeds. Planting bulbs in the fall is so much easier. I can plant the bulbs and then cover the beds with leaves to hide the smell of the freshly turned soil and the squirrels are none the wiser.


Post a Comment

<< Home