From The Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center – Divinely Organized
How Does My Garden Grow?
I am certain most of you are familiar with the children’s book, How Does My Garden Grow? by Gerda Muller. If not, the short version is that the main character lives in the city but visits her grandparents in the country and learns all about where her food comes from. It is a really cute story and you can shop it here. Your kids or grandkids will love the story and you will enjoy it too. However; I digress.
How does my garden grow? With the winter we have had, I was asking that exact question. You see, we had no winter to speak of and during the month of February we had spring-like temperatures. I am talking mid-70s. The warm temps confused our trees, shrubs, and flowers because they all peeked their little heads out and began to bud and bloom too soon. Even worse, once they yawned and stretched in an attempt to awaken from their winter’s sleep…BAM!! We had a surprise cold snap. It lasted for approximately four days but that was long enough to freeze and sadly kill some of the budding bushes and plants. Case in point my poor, pitiful rhododendron below. Three weeks ago, this dead-looking plant was full of green leaves and looking forward to a blooming summer but now it looks dead. I am thinking I will trim it back this weekend and hopefully, it will begin again. It is pitiful…right? Keep fingers crossed I can save it.
Although my rhododendron looks lost, all of my perennials did not suffer quite as badly. Take my roses for example. They are supposed to look like this in a couple of weeks. The picture isn’t very good but you can see they are covered in blooms and flowers. Just covered.
This is another. There are two of these pink one. They flank the steps.
But this is what I have this year. The rose bushes are leafing but all of the buds were frozen and are not blooming at all. Not one bloom. Boring, right?
Just bushes without blooms. I am thinking of cutting the rose bushes back as well. and starting over, because they are getting really big and big without blooms is just in the way. I prefer them short and covered with blossoms as opposed as large bushes.
That’s the rose garden, now for the back yard. Back there I grow most things in pots except my azaleas. I even grow tomatoes, herbs, and peppers in pots as well. So here is what my one hosta that is planted in the ground looks like. Apparently, it survived the freeze. Because it has poked its little head up and looks pretty healthy. I think this little one and its cousins next door will be fine. Oh, happy day!
My backyard is shady, therefore I don’t plant a lot of blooming plants because most will not survive. I generally plant lantana and petunias and they seem to do okay and add the color I like but I will not be planting those for another week. Not trusting this weather. 🙂 I have potted hostas and they are coming along. I do not think the late freeze hurt them but I was worried because they were already above the soil when it happened.
The winter was so mild this year until even my mints are returning on their own. I have chocolate mint (which smells so pretty) and peppermint and both survived the winter. This is a first for me and I plant mint every year. I may need to add another peppermint to the first pot just to fill it in but I’m happy they came back at all.
My jasmin survived another winter. I think he is outgrowing his pot, AGAIN! But it will soon have these little tiny white flowers and smell heavenly. It has such a sweet fragrance and you can smell it from anywhere on the deck when it is in full bloom.
I have two running roses. They lived but they are looking really puny. I am going to give them an extra shot of epsom salt and hopefully they will perk up. As a matter of fact, I am going to give all of my roses an extra shot of epsom salt after I trim them back. If you would like to know more about using epsom salt in the garden, I wrote an article about it here.
I was really surprised to see that my strawberry plant had survived as well. Most times the squirrels beat me to the berries, but I think it’s such a pretty plant so I plant a couple every year. When I say this was a mild winter, I mean it. Look at this strawberry plant. I cannot believe it.
Finally, these two succulents flank my slider. I am not sure of the name but they never browned or wilted all winter and now they are spreading beautifully. I love these things. If these plants look the same it is because they are, but there are two. One on either side of the door. I am not sure what happened to the other picture. But they are twins so they look alike.
So that’s that. My garden has suffered because of the confusing winter, but it could have been worse I suppose with that hard freeze coming so late and lasting for several days, I could have lost everything so I’ll just pamper them a bit and see what happens.
Part of the fun of gardening is helping the plants to survive and watching them grow. How is your garden growing? Are you planting or pruning? Leave me a note or better yet pictures in the comment section.
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Until next time…Organization is my element and it can be yours too
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