Hello! Welcome to May! This is a fine time to be outdoors. I do love me some October, but May and June? Those are my glorious months. I feel my spirit has been coaxed out of near death, because everything is beautiful! Spring bulbs are in full swing, Rhododendrons and azaleas are flourishing. Heck, everything is! The air is fresh, the wind is warm, the grass—HACK! I’m choking on mosquitoes… I might have to stock up the bug spray kit.
Let’s get to the agenda for the month.
I’ve been waiting to finally start cutting into the new garden beds. This is when I begin. The bugs aren’t TOO bad yet (no deerflies, mosquitoes in their infancy). You know where I’m going first. The Rhodo forest. But you can’t just dive willy nilly into a new garden. I’m going to do it by the book. I’ll choose my largest tickets first. I’m going to opt for an Amelanchier canadensis (serviceberry) as it will give some mid spring flowers, fall color, and berries to feed the birds (and ourselves, they are a lot like a really sweet, mild blueberry). I’ll probably also choose some Rhododendrons this year. The one I really love is Rhododendron ‘Edith Bosley’, a really luxurious dark purple variety. R. Nova Zembla is another really great and easily available variety I’ll plant this year too. And let’s not forget the early blooming ‘PJM’ Rhododendron too. There is a LOT of space though, so I will have to piece my garden together little by little in the forest. I will probably focus on the view from the bench first, and some of the entrance wings. We might have to also discuss what we want for a trellis leading people into the forest. Something to do with twisted wood/branches, a more rustic feel.
I might also clean up, dig up or move things in the turning circle at this time too. If I can find a Catalpa that interests me, I may plant it here in the center, or I might wait another year or so. I bet you might notice you have your Peonies popping up now too. Better get the Peony bondage out before you’re too late, you’ll be glad you did it! (I’m getting mine this week)
I’m also going to start pounding some fertilizer spikes into the soil around various trees, shrubs, etc. I planted 2 Pinus strobus (white Pine) and one Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ (Japanese Maple) last fall, and they need a little help so they can get growing after living in pots for years!
In the veggie bed, I will be sowing all of my cool season crops, like radishes, broccoli, carrots etc. I’ll also be sowing my herb seeds now, since I said I would when I got back home. I know I’m way late, but better late than never.This will probably be keeping me busy for a day or so, and also, replanting my tomatoes into larger pots, and possibly (hopefully!) moving them out to the greenhouse till it’s time to plant out. I’m putting the asparagus on hold this year, but I’m definitely going to start hardening off my strawberries this week for planting.
It’s mostly just the end of cleanup season and enjoyment of spring blooms for the next few weeks. Our “Last Frost Date” is roughly the middle of May, but I usually hold off on most warm season veggie plantings till June.
This was a short post this week. I’m recovering from a hectic week of vacation among other things. I have a lot of things to pick up and I’m just hitting the ground running.
So enjoy the spring beauty. Next week I’ll talk a little bit about carnivorous plants. Nobody’s a natural, but once you figure it out, they’re a lot of fun!