April Garden Tour
April is a time of great hope in the garden. After almost six months with no green, everything is coming back to life. I love the tulips and other bulbs. The first flowers of spring bloom for such a short time, but their bright colors are vivid against the fresh green new growth. The honeyberry plants in the picture above are the first bush to bloom. I love the sweet tart fruit that comes so early in the season. Bumble bees love them too. The robins have already staked a claim to the berries that will be coming, I'll get a few, and the robins will get the rest.
The Big Picture in the Backyard Garden
The branches are still mostly bare, and the blooming plants are small but there is a lot going on if you look close. Our greenhouses are up and filled to the brim with tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and other garden favorites. The strawberries we planted in the garden boxes as a holding place last fall are looking really happy. We have to find new homes for the strawberries soon so we can plant the garden. The plums and pears are just beginning to bloom in the orchard, and daffodils are enjoying their moment of glory on the hillside. The little red spots are the flags marking the location of our underground utility lines so we don't hit one while digging in the yard or garden this spring. I liked the red flags mixed with the daffodils, so I'll try to find some red bulbs to plant this fall.
Spring Bulbs in Full Bloom
Nothing cheers me up and gets me excited about spring as much as early spring bulbs. They last just a little while in the cool spring and then everything grows up around them and I forget I planted them until it starts to warm up again next year. Every time I go outside I look for signs of spring - swelling buds on otherwise barren branches, a hint of green to the lawn the first time it rains instead of snows, and the tips of these spring bulbs bursting through the earth to tell me that winter will not last forever.
Blossoms That Promise Fruit is Coming
Greenhouses and Porches are Stuffed with Plants
We usually put the greenhouses up at the end of February. This year with all the snow on the ground we waited until the middle of March. It hasn't been as cold as last year. If it does get cold the propane heaters keep everything toasty warm and the temperature sensor lets us know when it is too cold or too hot. Watering everything takes a couple hours each day, but it is like therapy to be in the greenhouse bursting with plants. Some of these plants are already spoken for and just waiting till they can be planted out. If you are local there are still plenty left to choose from. Just check out the Google Doc on the plant sale page to see what is still available!
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Perennial Plants Start the Season Off
The Fun Just Keeps Coming!
Every winter, we look for other plants we can grow. They start arriving now and we have to scramble to find places for them. We still have the fall sales plants tucked into holding spots in the garden beds with the extra strawberries, currants, lingonberries and aronia berries. This year we are trying to grow paw paws from seed. We picked up an extra Josta berry at a farm store and ordered apricots to replace the ones that I thought had died in our bitter cold (they didn't). This year we are trying new varieties of black and white currants, cherry plums, and hazelberts. We traded scions for cuttings of 8 different types of figs, two types of elderberries, and got a whole bunch of aronia berry cuttings too. We have cuttings growing for more currants and elderberries and I don't remember if there is anything else coming. There probably is. Oh yes, my youngest helped me plant 100's of flowers for a cut flower garden that I haven't found a place for yet. How many mammoth sunflowers do you need to make a 12-foot hedge? I probably have enough. Our motto seems to be "we'll find room for it somewhere." Anyway, April is almost over and spring is in full swing. Get outside and plant something fun and we'll visit again soon and I'll let you know if we found a place for everything!
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