Happy Easter my friends! I hope that all of you who celebrate Christ’s resurrection have a joyous and blessed day. We’re headed to church this morning, and I’m excited lent is over. For everyone else, I hope Easter whispers spring’s message of rebirth, and you hear it in gentle warm breezes.
This morning, at 5:00 a.m., a cold front roared through Oklahoma and Kansas bringing rain, hail and cooler temperatures in my garden. I’ll be wearing a sweater to church this morning.
In Kansas, they got snow. I’m sorry.
For Kansans and everyone else who is battling cold and snow, I want to share some of my Easter garden. I took these pictures yesterday when the wind didn’t blow for the first time in over a week, and the mercury sat at 72. It was a perfect day in the garden. A perfect day for picture taking too.
In the greenhouse, my ‘Republic of Texas’ orange is covered in blooms. I’ve been leaving the greenhouse door open for the pollinators to more easily find it, and find it, they did. Someone in the neighborhood has honeybees–I wish I knew who. (Click on the gallery, above, to make the photos larger.) I would buy some honey from him or her. Local honey is the best. Anyway, Watching the girls as they went about their work was exciting. This orange tree provided the most wonderful fruit over Christmas. I bought several other fruit trees including a dwarf ‘Meyer’ lemon. It has two buds on it too. I can’t wait to smell them. The orange tree smells so sweet. Claire had a friend over, and I called them into the greenhouse to smell the orange and watch the bees at work.
In the garden, I’m starting to see small pollinators at work. When Kari and I cleared the garden, we stacked the hollow stems of the perennials in a pile nearby.Kari only comes one day a week, but we get so much done on that one day. I work in the garden every other day alone. A lot of native pollinators overwinter in those dead sticks, and we try not to disturb them. We’ve been systematically working bed-by-bed weeding and then placing shredded leaves on top as mulch. Earthworms will work that leaf mulch down into the soil making the soil friable. I’ll probably need to mulch three times over the growing season, and I’ll use something different each time: shredded leaves, Back to Nature cottonseed compost and fine pine bark. This is my plan. We’ll see what happens.
The yellow pansies were a complete accident. I used pansies to fill in blank spots and provide some color for the tour last fall. Since the tour was in October, I didn’t have much blooming. Kari suggested yellow as one of the colors, and these were the only ones I found. Although I liked them for the tour, I love them for the spring garden. They are the perfect shade of lemon yellow, and the patterned faces are also perfect. The shot, above, shows one of my favorite spots in the back garden now. I think the yellow pansies blend so well with the gray/green lamb’s ears and yarrow. Blue Phlox divaricata doesn’t hurt either. Woodland phlox paints the entire garden blue and purple. You should grow it. Buy seeds from one of the nurseries that carries native plants.
In the meantime, I’m trying to enjoy each new garden discovery as spring unfolds day-by-day. Baptisias will soon be blooming, but only a few emerged from the ground in the last couple of days. Iris will also follow, but today, the Easter garden is full of bulbs which are my spring favorites. Planting them with the drill auger was very effective. It went faster than I expected, and I’m happy with the results. I pull the tulips as they fade, making room for other plants in the garden. I’m also taking stock of perennials crowding out other plants. I noticed that our mild winter was great for the pansies and violas, but the cannas also loved it, spreading way beyond their spaces. Next week, in between work assignments, I’ll dig the cannas and separate them.
Spring in the garden is full of work, but don’t forget to slow down and enjoy spring’s ephemeral flowers too. Happy Easter my friends.