Can this only be March 15 and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day? The temperature feels like late April, but before you run to the nursery and get tender plants, please don’t. This weekend, Oklahoma is forecasted to get down to 34°F which is too cold for tender tropicals–the basis of our summer gardens. We may still get a freeze too. Remember, April 20 is our last average freeze date. You’ve been warned. If you simply must, bring those flats home and let them sit in the house for a couple of weeks. You can move them in and out everyday. Doesn’t that sound fun?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that over the years.
Alternatively, you can go buy yourself a new hellebore. That will help stave off spring fever for a week or so. I’ve bought five so far this year. They aren’t cheap, but give them a few seasons, and they will reward you with blooms before anything else even thinks about flowering.
My front border is planted to really show off in spring. I felt like people on the garden tour didn’t get to see the front gardens at their best because it was fall. ‘Jane’ magnolia always blooms pretty early with the redbuds, and it is often ruined by late freezes. I hope this won’t happen this spring. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. You’ve got to roll with the punches in gardening. It’s a humbling hobby.
Most of the daffs in the front border are white with pink cups which means they are actually apricot. I used Van Engelen’s Smoldering Tangerine/Pink tulip collection this year. The jury is still out on whether I like it better than the collection I used the year before.
Below is one of the prettiest vignettes blooming so far. My sixteen-year-old daughter told me this morning that it is Instagram worthy. That made me happy.
In another corner of the front yard, my Hamamelis ‘Arnold’s Promise’ is blooming for all its worth.
It also smells like honey. How many plants do that?
Let’s take a walk around back to the garage border where things are just starting to get interesting. I have so many narcissus in here that when I plant something, I dig up two more. I just replant them in another spot. Most of these are white with ‘Thalia’ being predominant. The double-flowering white narcissus is ‘Rose of May.’ I bought both at Old House Gardens. The multiply each year and smell delicious in the mornings. I love the little heirloom narcissus because they do their thing and fade away.
The tulips are just beginning. It won’t be long until the bed is full. People ask me if the tulips return year after year. No, they don’t. They’re hybrids that are bred to give one year’s good show. I pull them after blooming. Maybe that seems extravagant, but it’s like using any other annual, and after winter, I need the color.
Last week, it rained twice, and we got half an inch each time. That’s why the grass is starting to green up and grow. The shrubs in the photo below are ‘Ogon’ spireas. Just a week ago, they were covered with white blossoms. They looked like snow mounds. Sorry I didn’t get a photo then, but I think they’re still nice with their lemon-yellow leaves. At the bottom of the hill is a mound of clover. I’ve been working for years to increase the clover in my yard. I know many people don’t want it, but it helps the bees and makes for a more diverse lawn. It’s also a nitrogen fixer, and you can make clover chains with it. I did as a girl.
Plus, clover is pretty. Last fall, we planted lots of pansies and violas in the back garden because we had some open areas that needed filling for the tour. I’m glad we had such a mild winter because they all came through and are growing so well. Pansies in Oklahoma planted in the fall sometimes overwinter great, and other years, well, no. Gardening in Oklahoma is always a crapshoot.
In the potager, we have a few violas and the blooming tatsoi. I need to pull up the tatsoi, but the little honeybees have enjoyed it so much I just keep stalling.
That’s all I’ve got blooming this month. Thanks for stopping by. Go visit Carol’s blog, May Dreams Gardens for more Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day goodness.