I have been in the gardens when a thick blanketing of snow covered everything and then a year later, wearing a light sweater and photographing Snowdrops in bloom. So what do you do as a professional gardener or a home gardener when you live in an area where the seasons can change on a dime?
Tread Carefully: Warm days beckon me to go to the gardens to do some work. However, if our warm days have been accompanied by spring-like rains, walking in the gardens may not be the best idea. I spent a lot of time amending the soil and the last thing I want to do is pack it down with my muddy boots.
ABOVE: Many bulbs are startign to emerge: some that don't mind the cold and some snow, like these Snowdrops. Others, are jsut peeking up out of the soil and we don't want to step on them!
Early Risers: Unseasonably warm days can often cause an early arrival of spring flowering bulbs. I'd rather stay safely on my garden path and not risk crushing the new foliage. Some bulbs don't mind a cold day, like Snowdrops and Winter Aconite, so if they were to emerge a bit early, I’m not too concerned. Warm days often encourage daffodils to poke their foliage up way too early in the season, sending those new to gardening into a tizzy. Don't despair, these spring flowering bulbs seem to carry on quite well. It can be warm, bitterly cold, then warm again and they bloom just as planned when true spring arrives.
Overdue Pruning: When I can reach a shrub or tree without jeopardizing my garden soil and plants, I like to tackle any pruning that may have gotten missed in the late fall. With the leaves down, it’s easy to spot the crossing and rubbing branches, sprouts as well as branches that are blurring the otherwise tidy appearance of the shrub.
Making a Plant List: I could add new plants to the gardens now, but they would be containers of soil with dormant plants within. Not exactly exciting. So I wait until spring, when the plants are coming to life, to buy new perennials for the gardens. I make a list of all the plants I love and then see what I have in my gardens by studying my garden photos. It’s easy to fall back on the same familiar plants, so I want to have a list of new plant additions handy when I head to the nursery come spring.
ABOVE: If this not on your plant list, it should be! Hellebores are hardy, evergreen and deer resistant. And who wouldn't love seeing these blooms in their early spring garden?