Thursday, April 14, 2011


Oh, my! The snow is just about all gone, but what appears now is just not nice!
This was a hard winter. We had a number of storms that brought down trees and branches. Those storms blew debris around in places it shouldn't be, and just in general, left a mess.
So, it's time to prioritize my EARLY spring jobs.
The first order of business is to check for color wherever it might be. There should be crocus buds around the rock gardens. Little pearl hyacinths should be popping up next to the walk. Daffodil shoots should be pushing up in the driveway circle. I'll don my boots and head for the hinterlands of the garden.
Then it's "pick up sticks" time. I'll bring a big purple bucket along to toss all that debris into for dumping in my newest brush-pile.
After I've accomplished that, I think it will be time to find the grass/leaf rake and begin to pass it over the garden beds. It's good to do this before too many shoots come up. Most shoots will not be bothered by a leaf rake jostling it, but obviously, the earlier the better where that's concerned. I'll try to leave as much mulch as possible. It's always good to be prepared for a late season frost, so better to leave the covers on the beds as long as possible. When I'm done there, all that stuff will go into my poor, old, broken down compost bin. Actually, I lied. I'll put it NEXT to the bin. I need to let the compost thaw out so I can utilize it before dumping new compostables on top of it!!! Some things just need to go in the proper order.
When I'm done with those chores, I'll think about what to do next. (Probably nagging my husband, son and grandson about creating firewood out of the 4 trees that fell.)

Monday, April 11, 2011


This morning it came! The skies blackened and even the birds got quiet. Something was surely "up".
The rumbling began and the "belly-whompers" followed. The rain slashed through our world and we can all realize that SPRING has indeed arrived! Or at least, MUD SEASON!
Our little brook has overflowed and flooded our meadow. The local river, the Wild Ammonosuc, looks like something from the far west. There's definitely "white water" there, although it is a muddy brown from all the debris it has picked up. The water is HIGH, and with snow still left all around, I know it will get higher if we get another rain storm like that one.
At any rate, it won't be long before the mud dries up and we can all get out in the garden
Remember DO NOT dig in your garden until the soil is dry enough to crumble when you make a mud-pie! If it hangs together like that pie you formed? It's too soon to work the soil. Be patient! That's another meaning for the word, "GARDENER"!

Saturday, April 09, 2011


I guess it's getting close to the time I can begin looking for clues that spring might actually be coming????
We've been watching the piles of snow begin to diminish. This photo was taken two days ago. There is a thick snow pancake on the roof and I think it will take a rainfall to dislodge it. I'm getting pretty impatient.
At the front of the house, at the top of the rock garden, there's a spot without snow. I keep thinking there will be something popping up that's colorful, but the most colorful thing there is a bedraggled clump of hens and chicks. They are barely greenish.

Sunday, April 03, 2011



This is a good time to get that soil tested. Then there will be time to amend it before the season gets into full swing!

Edge your flower beds to rid yourself of invading lawn rhizomes. Toss the edgings from this into the compost.

Rebar, the steel bars used to reinforce concrete and masonry, make great garden stakes. They're inexpensive, strong and durable and they come in a variety of sizes. You can find them in any building supply store.

Start up your lawn mower so you know it doesn't need a trip to the repair shop before grass cutting time. Also be sure the blades are SHARP.

Sharpen your other tools while you are at it!

The lawn would appreciate a good fertilizing at this time.

Avoid working in the garden unless the soil breaks up in your
hand if you squeeze a lump of it.

Instead, turn your compost (assuming it is no longer frozen!)

Hummingbirds begin to appear this month in some places. Clean
the feeders and hang them for the "early birds"

Sow peas in the ground as soon as the frost is gone

Continue with the tree pruning. Get rid of dead and diseased limbs

As soon as your shrubs are done blooming, prune them as well.

You can prune your berry bushes-check a reference or
ask me

This is a good time to pull out weed trees and old bramble branches. They tend to yank out easily because the soil is still soft and moist.

Remove mulch from strawberries

Put your trellis systems and peony supports into place.

Pansies and other cold weather annuals can now be planted outside

It is the time to divide and plant perennials as well as cutting any of last years remaining growth away. It's known as good housekeeping in the garden!

If you have any bare root plants going into the garden, soak them overnight before planting. Also be sure to trim off any super long or broken roots.

If you winter mulch your garden beds, begin to remove mulch when forsythia and daffodils bloom.

Try planting scented flowers near walks!

It's probably a good time to remove bird-feeders to discourage those bears!