CATCHING UP

CATCHING UP

Perhaps it’s time for a little catching up.

A review of where I am this spring.

Remember the roses that froze to the ground last winter?

Well, they are doing quite well and….

They are still pink!

The roses and peonies were in full glorious bloom last week when we had an unfortunate few days of mid to high 90 degree weather – with wind.

As it happens some years, the bloom life of these glorious spring standards was shortened.

I hate it when that happens.

But it’s a fact of gardening life.

So…I’ll begin dead-heading a bit earlier than usual.

Dead-heading?

Sounds like a rock band doesn’t it!

It’s actually one of the most important things I do to keep my garden blooming all season.

Dead-heading is simple.

It’s removing the spent blooms of plants so that they can begin the bloom cycle again.

Now…not every plant will re-bloom.

Peonies for instance do not.  So you just remove the stems of the spent blooms to tidy them up a bit and leave them be for the rest of the season.

I don’t usually cut mine back to the ground until the next spring when new growth appears.

Iris both German Bearded and Dutch also should also have their bloom stems cut back as far as possible once the last buds have bloomed.

Spent bloom stems of German Bearded Iris waiting to be dead headed.

But…leave the greenery to die back on it’s own.

We’ll fiddle with them a bit more later on in the season.

 

Many roses on the other hand will repeat bloom if you deadhead.

Hybrid tea roses and any old-fashioned rose that is remonant or repeat bloomers will give you more flowers.

To dead head them cut off the spent bloom to at least the first set of 5 leaves.

If the rose-bush needs shaping you can cut them even further down the cane.

Pink Belinda's Dream rejuvenated and ready for dead heading.

 

That’s it – no big mystery here.

For me it’s kind of a zen experience.

Doesn’t require loads of concentration so you can lose yourself in this bit of gardening.

And…you’ll be rewarded with new buds and blooms within a few weeks.

Now, the spring flush is by far the most breathtaking but the scattered blooms throughout the season bring me great joy.

 

Then there are things that I don’t dead head.

I want them to go to seed.

Digitalis or Foxglove are among them. 

Digitalis

 

I’ve worked hard to get them going in my garden and I want them to spread so I’m restraining myself from cutting any for a few more years.

Hopefully someday I’ll have patches of their amazing towers of bell-shaped blooms all over the place.

A closer look.

Columbine is a mix of these methods.

The more you cut it the more it blooms.

But at some point usually when it starts to warm up I quit cutting and let it go to seed.

Once the seed heads have dried up – late June or so – I’ll pick them and scatter them in shady areas.

It’s worked pretty well in my loamy soil and I have new columbine babies each year.

Self seeded Columbine by the garden bench.

I’ll give more deadheading instructions as the season goes along.

 

Other activity includes finally planting my Caladium and Elephant Ear bulbs.

I’m a little behind on those but better a little late than too early with bulbs.

Remember – both of these like to be planted in the shade though their faces can extend into the sunshine.

The basic rule with any bulb is to plant them as deep as the bulb itself.

Not a big deal for Caladiums,

But…you’ll have to dig a BIG hole for the Elephant Ears!

Both will have to be dug in the fall here in zone 7.

Since we are expecting a week of glorious low 70’s weather I think I’m going to finally transplant a Blushing Bride Hydrangea to a new roomier home – got a little carried away with my purchasing a few springs ago – no big surprise.

This morning Pam cut flowers and made them into bunches to sell at the Farmer’s Market tomorrow.

I’ve added some herbs – Rosemary, Sage and Mojito Mint along with bags of mixed lettuce.

So drop by the coop table at Grand & Garriott between 8 & 11.

 Flowers, herbs and lettuce ready for Saturday's market.

Last weekend I spent time with Elliott and Kristina in their garden.

We planted new Dahlias – one of Kristina’s favorite, set out tomatoes and peppers and put out Lady Bugs.

Giving lady bugs a new home.

 

But mostly we simply enjoyed being in their garden, having meals in the garden, talking about gardening and visiting the nursery. 

As Elliott was growing up I sometimes wondered what part of that experience he would take with him into his adult life.

Although he didn’t really garden much then he was constantly exposed to this need to dig in the soil and grow things in our home and with both sets of grandparents.

It stuck.

He is drawn to the earth.

I am thankful.

Enjoy this glorious weather.

Gail

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Columbne, Dead Heading, Digitalis, Farmer's Market, Gardening;Perennials, Peonies, roses

2 responses to “CATCHING UP

  1. Jessica Henson

    I’ve been so enjoying the garden news. The lady bugs made me smile!

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