You cannot ignore
the smiling faces of daffodils, the glowing and profuse forsythias,
and the touches of purple that only the grape hyacinths, chinodoxas
and scillas bestow upon us now. Their golden and royal purple show reinforces
nature's color wheel. Magnolias, cherries and flowering apples add their
pink and white touches. It looks and smells like Spring even though
we're still experiencing a few chilly days that disturb some of our
blossoming trees. It's just the unpredictability of Mother Nature!
Is it time to revamp
the plantings that existed when you bought your house 20 years ago?
It's amazing how refreshing it is to occasionally change a routine.
You've taken the same path so many times; you may not feel the rut.
We'd love to work with you. We'd love you to work with us.
WE LOVE TREES
Arbor Day is in
April. Plant a tree. Trees provide shade, a natural setting for a home,
and walls and a ceiling for outdoor living areas. Trees enhance a garden,
soften the lines of a building, give a neighborhood character, and add
color to the skyline.
Plant shrubs as
early as possible in the spring. This will allow time for the roots
to develop before the heat of summer.
PAY ATTENTION TO PESTS
Earth Day is also
in April. When used incorrectly, pesticides can pollute water. They
also kill beneficial as well as harmful insects. Natural alternatives
prevent both of these events from occurring and save you money. Consider
using natural alternatives for chemical pesticides: Non-detergent insecticidal
soaps, garlic, hot pepper sprays, 1 teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon
of water, used dishwater, or forceful stream of water to dislodge insects.
Also consider using
plants that naturally repel insects. These plants have their own chemical
defense systems, and when planted among flowers and vegetables, they
help keep unwanted insects away.
Herbs such as rosemary, rue, sage, and bitter wormwood are said to repel
destructive insects. The smell of onions and garlic confuses pests when
interplanted with crops such as carrots and cabbages. If planted in
pots, these aromatics can be moved around in the garden as needed.
SPRING CLEAN UP
Cut down ornamental
grasses to about 6-9 inches; remove old stems from Red-twig Dogwoods
and Hydrangeas. Cut back summer blooming shrubs such as Buddleia, Spirea,
and Caryopteris. Thin out and prune back roses. Shear evergreen hedges
and shape conifers, if this was not done in the late fall or if there
is damage from heavy rain or snow.
We are adding a
balanced fertilizer and/or compost to gardens this spring. Compost is
wonderful for water retention, something we now must pay careful attention
to this year due to drought conditions. Mulching, even for those of
you who are not fans of this in your garden, is also an efficient solution
for water retention.
an irrigation system this year and conserve water.