What a wonderful time of year – we get to enjoy the fruits of our labours while the gardens are still bug-free!
Blankets of Moss Phlox, Rock Cress and Perennial Alyssum paint a lovely canvas this Spring. Other than requiring an occasional replacement plant they are generally maintenance free and enjoyed by many species – mostly humans.
The Peonies are about to pop and the Clematis have begun to climb. Peonies are a favourite of ours, not only are the explosion of blooms a sight for sore eyes but the foliage can serve as greenery for your flower vases all season long. Some Peonies aren’t very well behaved, you may want to use a cage for support. There is one Clematis, ‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’ that always seems to require assistance finding the trellis so we gently weave the delicate growth through the framework and make occasional visits to monitor its progress. This is a good time of year to catch them early before they start growing astray.
There are a couple of time-dependent tasks to be completed in early June. Once the tulips have withered, you can “pop” them by grabbing the spent flowering stem and giving them a yank. You’ll get the occasional stubborn plant that hangs onto its bulb and you’ll have to stamp it back into the soil but, all in all, the garden will fill in around the former early spring glory.
Also, the new growth on the Mugo Pines will require “candling” which is simply pruning back the new growth to help maintain this dwarf evergreen shrub’s lush, full and even growth. Removing half the new growth tip will suffice to help the plant develop new growth buds. You can meticulously prune each and every candle or you can give it a massive hair cut using your hedge clippers as we do! Cutting into the woody growth won’t promote new growth so don’t wait until it’s too late!
Most importantly, it’s time to keep all of the Hummingbird feeders clean and full for the little avian jets who have moved into the neighbourhood. If you remove a couple of the yellow ports on the feeder, the Orioles will be able to access the sweet nectar as well. These feathered friends provide season-long entertainment among your nurtured paradise!