Spring is here in all its glory. That’s good news. Our spring freezes may be over. Let’s accentuate the positive because in many years we have a late spring freeze.
Crapemyrtles and deodar cedars showing signs of life.
As you can see from the photo, above, left, I cut my crapemyrtle trees and shrubs to the ground. However, I’m happy to report I saw new red foliage coming up from the ground today. Also, I saw small green bits on my deodar cedars. All is not lost, my friends!
Still, wait to plant summer veggies.
I’d still wait to plant tomatoes, green beans, summer squash, peppers, and eggplant. Even if you do plant them early, this week’s cooler weather will hold them back. Better to wait until temperatures are consistently 55°F and above at night.
The pelargoniums (geraniums) went outside.
I did pull my pelargoniums out of the greenhouse, and I’m planting some seeds for zinnias and cosmos this week. They are integral to the cutting garden that attracts butterflies, bees, and me. I started Tithonia rotundifolia ‘Torch’ indoors, and I set out the plants in the garden last week.
Native trees please honey bees.
Some of my native oak trees are in bloom, and that pleases the honey bees. I walked beneath several that were buzzing with the girls as they foraged for pollen and nectar. If the native trees are in bloom, it’s a good sign our freezes are over.
Cooler weather forecast
We will have cooler weather for a week or so. Cool mornings will give way to both cool and warm afternoons. This weather is pretty normal for April. In my garden, spring also meant rain the night before last. We got several quick storms. There was no damage and very little moisture. More rain is forecast for this week.
[Click on gallery photos to enlarge them.]
I continue to cut back ornamental grasses and any shrubs that are only showing new growth at their bases. Most of my nandinas, roses, and some of the spireas are about six inches tall. Other spireas came through the storm just fine. I want to give a special shoutout to the Bloomin’ Easy Poprocks Rainbow Fizz spireas, Spiraea japonica ‘Matgold,’ sent to me years ago as tiny trial plants. They’ve now grown into small shrubs, and I expect them to continue growing larger and becoming even more beautiful. They were super tough and needed very little pruning. I also love the leaf color.
Parrot tulips, oh my!
On Instagram, I shared pics of my parrot tulips, and I got a lot of questions about them. I don’t plant a lot of tulips anymore because they are hard to place within my mature garden, and voles and moles tunnel beneath them. Also, tulips are deer candy. My mature garden is also hard to plant them in, and I don’t leave spaces for annuals which is how I treat tulips. Although tulips will sometimes return, they aren’t really bred for a second show at least not in our warm Oklahoma climate.
Many of my Oklahoma garden friends, like Linda Vater, Teresa Dawkins, and Beth Teel leave spaces in their garden for tulips. I am such a plant hound that I end up placing a perennial or some other plant in the space. My rural garden also has a lot of trouble with tulip-eating creatures. However, I had planted a new garden bed, and last fall, I planted three tulip varieties in it. It was easy to dig, and so I planted a staggered line of ‘Amazing Parrot,’ ‘Green Wave,’ and ‘Blushing Impression’ along with Narcissus ‘Silver Chimes,’ which I dearly love. ‘Blushing Impression’ bloomed first followed a couple of weeks later by the tulips. These are planted up near the house to deter deer, and I don’t have voles in this spot yet. I simply cannot plant tulips in the same place each year because the blasted voles eventually find them. Teresa Dawkins mentioned the idea of tulips planted in a ring of daffodils to deter voles. Nothing eats narcissus. Yes, in the past, I’ve done that, and it works. However, it is a lot of work.
Geums are gems.
The other plant that garnered a lot of questions was Geum ‘Tequila Sunrise’. I found it four years ago at Lowe’s. Yes, I do shop at Lowe’s and Home Depot. Sometimes, they get first dibs at new plants, and I’m always on the lookout for something new. This geum is part of the Cocktails™ series from Intrinsic or Darwin Perennials. I also have ‘Banana Daiquiri’ which blooms later. I love geums especially G. triflorum, prairie smoke, but the ones, above, are the only ones I’ve been able to grow past a year or two. There is very sandy soil in the bed where they’re happiest, and I amended the soil with shredded oak leaves. I went to look up prairie smoke, and I want to try to grow it again. See what blogging does to me?
I’m still doing a lot of garden coaching, but I have a few openings in a couple of weeks. If you want help, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, get out in the garden and our parks. Nature is healing, and even though our gardens will be different this year, they are still full of good things.