Blossom by Blossom…We Celebrate Spring!

Blossom by Blossom…We Celebrate Spring!

Spring is unfolding very slowly this year. Instead of lamenting the cool temperatures, I am actually quite thrilled that we are having a very typical spring. Sunny days, cool nights are actually normal. We don’t WANT it to be hot at this time of year, that would simply make the daffodils and magnolias and other precious spring blossoms go by much quicker. We EXPECT frost until mid-May or a bit beyond. It gives us so much time to savor and to dig and rearrange and divide our plants. 
More Hellebores are arriving this week. Have you visited Hellebore Heaven under our lath house?
It is also a lot easier to unload the next FIVE truckloads of plants that are arriving this week if it is not too hot! We are filling up our benches fast- this

We will keep on making our signature Living Easter Basket Gardens all week long. 

week we have more organic veggie and herb plants, an exciting delivery of organically grown unusual annuals and houseplants, lots more natives, the first of our peonies and irises, Virginia bluebells, pasque flower, and even MORE Hellebores! Whew! Spring celebrations abound this weekend and we are ready with plants for your gardens and containers as well as our signature Living Easter Basket Gardens and wonderful hostess gifts.

Since we are closed Easter Sunday, April 21st, please let us know by Friday, April 19th if you have a custom order for your holiday celebration. Colorful, festive creations that we have pre-made will also be available for you to select from.
Erysimums are called wallflowers. They bloom continuously in April and May. When I was in Paris for my honeymoon 15 years ago, they were planted between all the tulips. 
A classic, cool April calls for lots of cool season plants. I am psyched that we are getting in some new selections that thrive at this time of year such as Erysimums, Osteospermums, Linaria, all colors of Nemesias, and Snapdaddy snapdragons in peach and yellow. 
In my own gardens, I am beginning to see buds on my Virginia bluebells (Mertensia) and my pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is in full bloom. I was happy to see that both of these wonderful perennials are arriving on Thursday. I spent a gorgeous Sunday in the garden. I only have ONE more bed to clean up. I pruned my roses and reorganized and pruned my raspberry patch. I cut back my tree hydrangeas and pruned my native Hydrangea 

Just like a turtle, slow and steady work in the garden gets the job done. Don’t you love this chair that Jess planted up? That’s Leptinella x ‘Platt’s Black’ in the foreground. Come and visit our ground cover department and get inspired. 

arborescens ‘Annabelle’. I checked the canes on my ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea and was happy to see some live buds. I am leaving them alone until it really warms up. I pruned my roses too. Next up is feeding. How can one person manage a large, diverse property such as mine? I take it one small project at a time. I plug away, gradually, slowly. I pick a section and work on it and try really hard not to think of what I still have to do, just what I hope to accomplish that day. It is a relaxing way to garden. Slow but steady and it works. 

Don’t have space for a big garden? Plant a Big Bag Bed like Eliza did at the shop. Use our hoops and floating row covers to protect it. So easy. Come visit this edible garden that can be plunked down anywhere this week and check it out. 
Cool season edibles are being planted in great numbers this week. I put out my lettuces and parsley and then worried as the winds howled Monday night. No problem. That’s why they call them “cool season” plants, folks. All of my pots, filled with Nemesias and pansies were just fine too. 
We have TONS of cool season edibles and a lot more arriving this week. Get planting! Grow more organic food this year. 
The Snapdaddy series of snapdragons have wide open flowers. They bloom spring till fall and make good cut flowers. 

The gardens are unfolding as they should, and the lawn is starting to grow. NOW is the time to apply corn gluten. This inhibits weed seed germination and, believe me, timing is everything when growing a lush, organic lawn. The rule is to put corn gluten down when the forsythia is in bloom- this week. It not only inhibits crabgrass and other weeds from sprouting, it also provides your first feeding of the season. Click on this link to read Diane’s latest Lawn Blast that explains all about it. If you are seeding your lawn, you don’t want to use the corn gluten (it inhibits grass seed germination too!). We have Cheep Cheep organic fertilizer that you can use instead. Don’t panic if you see violets or other flowers in your lawn. If you can learn to live with some diversity, the pollinators will have a lot more to eat. I am reseeding a main pathway in my veggie garden with a mixture of our fescue grass seed and white clover. I am PURPOSELY adding clover to the mix as it stays much greener in the summer, takes lots of foot traffic, and provides valuable nectar to the bees. Earth Day is next week, and we are celebrating the following weekend with lots of great educational workshops (see below). It is the ideal time to think hard about your choices and set your sights on having the most ecologically friendly, sustainable landscape you can. It’s really important. 

One small weekend project- plant lettuce, onions, rosemary, broccoli, and parsley. Fill pots with Hellebores and Veronica and cool season flowers. Mix up Coast of Maine compost and Pro Gro and feed all that goes in. 

Here’s a riddle for you. What springs up out of the ground in April with its flowers first? Hint: it’s one of the earliest perennials to bloom in the shade garden. The answer is lungwort (Pulmonaria). I am VERY opinionated regarding plant varieties and I adore ‘Trevi Fountain’, pictured on the left. The silver markings on the leaves contrast crisply with the blue flowers and it is very clean and disease resistant all during the summer months. But my staff is in love with ‘Raspberry Splash’, shown below on the right. When you look at it on our benches, it reads salmon/coral and morphs to a raspberry color as it evolves. These are quite deer resistant and very shade tolerant. It is a perennial that every gardener should grow. 

Tune in this Thursday evening at 4 pm for Facebook Live. This week I will be teaching you all about how to plant cool season veggies, herbs, and then I will focus on BLUEBERRIES! I have more than 20 blueberry bushes throughout my yard, one patch of 9 and then the rest are incorporated as edible landscape plants everywhere. We eat them, the birds eat them- what a Happy Habitat we have to enjoy. Maybe you can find room for a few more perennial edibles in your yard… elderberries, dwarf raspberries or ‘Babycakes’ blackberries, perennial celery (lovage), chokeberry (Aronia, a real superfruit), Greek oregano, the sky is the limit. Plant Mojito mint in your windowboxes along with your pansies. Add ruffled kale plants to your patio planters. The sky is the limit if you use your creativity and let us help you. 
P.S. We are fully stocked with lovely gifts in our retail shop. Be sure to think of Natureworks when you need to buy a gift to celebrate a special occasion.