Spring Is Here!

12 Apr Spring Is Here!

Greetings!  
 
Ah spring, such a tease this year, but I do believe it is finally here. I have dubbed this “Crocus Week”. They are popping up everywhere, albeit a few weeks late. Redwing blackbirds are in the marshes. The sound of the peepers is deafening, even during the day if it’s raining. I picked my very first daffodil and it sits in a vase on my kitchen windowsill. My house is starting to look a lot like Easter (yellow Peep pillows on the chairs, eggs hanging from the chandelier). My husband is asking about the lawn (it’s still a bit too cold and soggy for grass seed, but he’s asking) and folks are stopping into Natureworks to get their hummingbird feeders up and ready. I even have a primrose in bloom in my lower border! That totally surprised me.

We are making our famous Easter Basket Gardens as fast as we can. Here is one sitting outside in the garden amidst a sea of blue Iris reticulata. These usually bloom in early March. They are lasting
forever this year! 

My husband has a saying that is so true: “Nothing is all good or all bad.” Take this weather, for example. We LOVE the warm, sunny days. The rainy days, well, not so much. Yet I turned on the weather Monday night and they had a completely different take on all this rain- it’s helping the drought! They showed reservoirs in the fall and now. They have a lot more water in them. But believe it or not, we are still not out of the drought. So when it’s raining, realize how important spring rains are for the world. There, does that help?

The flowers are blooming, the bees are happy, you can be happy too! Our shop is filled with such delightful gifts right now! 

That being said, I have been studying when things bloom in CT for decades and this is one crazy, mixed up spring. My snowdrops are still looking great, as are the Iris reticulata bulbs. These are usually early March bloomers. Forsythia is

about to pop open- I can’t imagine snowdrops and forsythia blooming together but this year it just might happen. Cool temperatures slow things down.

How do the plants know when to flower? It is based on GROWING DEGREE DAYS. The study of succession of bloom is called phenology. We think it has to do with dates on the calendar. Nope. Each year is SO different, especially with the extreme swings due to climate change. For a gardener like me who knows what used to be normal and what we used to be able to expect, it is both fascinating and a bit disconcerting. Want to learn more?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growing_degree-day

This is a new Hellebore called ‘Ice and Roses Red’. It is here now and is available in very limited quantities. Wow, what a color!  
THE PLANTS ARE HERE! THE PLANTS ARE HERE! 
The trucks are finally rolling in and our benches are beginning to fill up with perennials, shrubs, trees, and cold tolerant annuals. It’s time to

Icelandic poppies are great for spring pots. Try something different this year.
pretty up your pots with all kinds of spring flowers such as Icelandic poppies, ruffled pansies, clove-scented fragrant stock, Ranunculus, Erysimiums, violas, and so much more. Don’t forget the Osteospermums, sweet alyssum, Arctotis, and snapdragons I talked about last week. Why not incorporate some spring perennials such as Hellebores or golden yellow Sedum ‘Angelina’? Later they can be added to your permanent collection in your garden beds. Last year I placed planted-up colorful Easter baskets stuffed with bulbs and sprouted green grass on the table on my back deck and on my front porch. It was so festive. Whatever you can dream up, we

My new love: purple and orange Erysimium. In the old days we used to call them Cherianthus. Wallflowers are very long blooming and very popular in England. 

can help you make it happen. Feel free to place custom orders for planters or garden baskets. You can also bring your containers into Natureworks and we will pot them up for you (or you can pot them here and leave the mess behind).

INCREDIBLE EDIBLES UPDATE!   

Got lettuce? We are getting a giant shipment of organically grown veggies in this week. It will include lettuces of all kinds and colors, arugula, kale (many varieties), organically grown onion seedlings (much better than onion sets), Swiss chard, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, broccoli raab, red and green cabbages, cauliflower, spinach, and pre-started peas in case you want to get a

week’s jump on pea planting this year. We are also getting our first shipment of herbs. Chives, borage, parsley, oregano ,sage, sorrel, and winter savory all do fine outside in April. Yes, we will have our cold frames and cotton sheets for covering at the ready in case the temperature drops too low, but it’s time people! The moon phase is also perfect for planting this weekend which is exactly what I intend to do on my day off.

Don’t even think about putting warm season plants or your houseplants outside, no matter how nice the day appears. But you should continue starting your tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and so much more in the house now. Our seed racks have been completely restocked and there are so many unusual edibles for you to try this year.

Just a few of our unique spring planters. Stop in and be enchanted! 

This Saturday is our first Saturday morning garden walk of the season. We are starting the walks at 10 am this year. You don’t have to pre-register, just show up and meet in the Teaching Tent. This week I will focus on Waking up

the Spring Garden. We will be cutting back perennials, pruning summer blooming shrubs, and learning all about the early bloomers emerging in all of the beds. Bring your questions- this is your chance to learn from me, directly in the garden. Last Saturday I taught pruning to a large group of enthusiastic students. The FIRST thing you should do before you venture out to your yard and start pruning is oil and SHARPEN your pruners. We love our diamond honing stones. Let’s start the walk this Saturday with a tool sharpening demonstration. You should have this tool handy and sharpen your pruners regularly as the season progresses.

My staff is so creative. Look at this fabulous gift they put together. A tea cup, strainer, and cover planted with spring blossoms and foliage. Include a tin of our new, delicious organic tea blends and you will make someone very happy this spring! 

Yes, spring is finally here and you will know it for SURE when you stop into Natureworks for a visit. Stock up on organic potting soil, seed starting soil, compost, organic fertilizers, seeds, and, of course… PLANTS!  I hope to see you this week…

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