Do you have a
notion of what you want your garden to look like and how you want
to feel while you're in it? It's fun to think about your garden and
view it as a "room". It is your outdoor room. A place to
relax or party, a place to throw a ball, swing on a swing or just
escape into your dreams in a shady spot. Let your garden reflect who
Don't be afraid
of color. It may be time to take a fresh look at your present landscaped
garden. Think orange. Orange is bold and bright. It makes a strong
statement. Orange in all its shades stands up to brilliant summer
sunlight. Orange is striking in a monochromatic scheme, and sparkles
with purple, white or blue. There is so much to choose from among
the annuals such as violas, calendulas, nasturtiums, geraniums, cannas,
Mexican sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias, dahlias, gazanias, gladiolus,
marigolds, black-eyed Susan vine, and California poppies. Perennials
include poppies, yarrow, dwarf and tall bearded iris, red hot pokers,
crocosmias, day lilies and true lilies, butterfly weed and blackberry
lily. And of course, you'll need a rose.
The bulbs are
emerging. Crocuses and daffodils have awakened. Pansies in every color
of the rainbow are ready to be planted among them They are so bright
and welcoming during the cool March days. It's fun to mix colors or
keep to large blocks of a single color. Pansies can be arranged to
suit almost any style or taste. We also love filling containers with
are down due to the small amount of rain and snow over the winter.
It is critical that plants are checked to ensure they are receiving
adequate amounts of water. Mulching becomes more critical than ever.
Two to three inches of mulch around plants, shrubs and trees will
help keep the soil moist and water from evaporating. A good layer
of mulch will also inhibit weed growth.
Think about your
summer vegetable and herb garden. Cool season vegetables like snow
peas, English garden peas and nonedible sweet peas can be planted
now. Soak the seeds in water overnight. This will help them germinate
Prune fruit trees,
summer and fall blooming shrubs and vines. Pruning stimulates growth.
Especially with fruit trees, pay attention to the horizontal branches.
This growth is ideal for fruit production. Spring-blooming shrubs
such as forsythia, lilac, deutzia, and white-flowered spireas should
be pruned after they bloom. However, summer-blooming shrubs such as
Rose of Sharon, beautyberry, crape myrtle, butterfly bush, and the
summer-blooming, pink-flowered spireas can be pruned now until early
spring before growth begins.
If you haven't
had your soil tested in the past few years, this would be a good time
to test it while you prepare for the coming planting season. The test
results will help you determine how much and what fertilizer to use
and will also help you identify other soil amendments (such as lime)
to add to your garden. Add nutrients such as potassium, phosphorous
and nitrogen to your soil test's specifications. This will give the
garden a head start and can be done at the end of March.