One can read only so many garden magazines. The catalogues with their perfect plants are page worn. All the old garden books are memorized. The internet! But one's eyes eventually glaze over, and there is deep longing for fresh air. What's a pent-up gardener to do? Order a new birdhouse. Order a new tree. And pace, pace, watching the weather, hoping for a day of sunshine.
I would definitely be in trouble if I lived in the far reaches of the North, where there are months of winter gloom. I have had to deal with a few weeks, and finally the sun has returned. On Saturday I stumbled out of the house and gulped the warm rays. The temperature went up into the fifties. Spring! Not really, only a tease, but I didn't care.
I grabbed my unfortunate son who came for a visit and headed for the garden. We planted the new tree, a variegated weeping redbud, Cercis canadensis 'Whitewater'. I have high hopes for it. Because our ground doesn't freeze, winter is a great time for planting new trees, allowing roots to take hold before the stress of summer heat arrives.
We also transplanted a dozen ferns. My neighbor Betty had told me there were ferns in the valley behind our house, but although this property belongs to us, the hill is steep and the area wild so I rarely go down there. But on Saturday I was in the mood to plant. I wanted to add to the fern glade in the woodland garden, so I dragged my son down into the wilderness and we began digging. Most of the ferns are beautiful evergreen, holly type woodland ferns. My muscular son got to haul them up the steep hill and then dig holes for me in their new location. There are plenty more left in the valley, and I am looking forward to another pleasant day, hopefully when my son will be visiting, so I can continue to enlarge the fern glade.
Meanwhile, Lou and I have pruned the apple trees and the crepe myrtles, properly — we commit no crepe murder! (This link takes you to a great article published by Southern Living magazine about pruning crepe myrtles.) I also have potted up some pansies.
The sun is peeking in and out today. Lou is going to install my new birdhouse. We are rushing to take advantage of the nice weather, as rain will be returning tomorrow, or sooner, as already I see storm clouds on the horizon. Soon we will spray the apple trees and many of our shrubs with an ecologically friendly dormant oil. This will reduce insect damage later in the season and also helps to fight some types of fungus. Our season warms up so quickly that this must be done now, before growth starts.
It may be a few days before I can get out to enjoy my garden again. Here are some more images from here and there, photographed while I was taking in the sunshine:
I hope you are enjoying the week! Deborah