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Browsing the spring garden

 

Kathy
Henderson
Columnist

  This is just my favorite time of the year. But there is a big problem with this season - too many fun things to do and too little time to play in the garden and landscape. I really love to clean weeds from the flower beds and mine are full. There have been just more projects than I can handle and still get the weeding done. However, I still enjoy walking through the garden and looking at the various kinds of iris - Japanese, German Bearded, Roof Iris, Dutch, Siberian and a few that I am not sure of their type. Of course, the bearded iris have the greatest variations in color and form. The foliage of the Japanese and Siberian gives the garden excellent form and texture.

Above: Bi-color German Bearded Iris. Below: Red Buckeye Tree. Special photos

 Another plant that always gives me pleasure this time of year and pretty much the year round is the Buckeye. I really hate that this is not grown more and used as small trees more frequently. Of course, they are eventually going to become large trees, but very slowly. Much too slowly for me to be here when they are quite large. A beekeeper recently told me that the yellow flowered buckeye was used by the bees to make honey. That is another important reason to plant them around your home. I always have lots of them in my farm nursery since the seeds readily germinate if planted as soon as they are harvested.

 My tree-form Chinese wisteria plants were beautiful this year. One was damaged by the frost, but did manage to produce a number of blossoms anyway. They have all faded and are putting on new leaves. However, my Wisteria frutescens ĎAme-thyst Fallsí which is a selection of our native wisteria is just beginning to open its blossoms. This wisteria is a rampant grower, but much easier to keep in bounds than is the Chinese one.

 The Clematis is blooming, so is the Trumpet honeysuckle along the fence. The fence is background to the Rosa mutabilis, the butterfly rose. It is so-called because it has these flat, single flowers ranging from muted orange to rose and creamy yellow. It is such a beautiful old rose and truly looks like a bush covered with exotic butterflies, Of course other roses are starting to bloom - Lady Bankís, Home Run, Knock-Out varieties and numerous others whose names I have forgotten. The woodland phlox, the woodland hyacinths and some late-blooming daffodils have certainly filled my weedy beds with color.

  As my plantís blossoms begin to fade, I try to remember to give them a little all-purpose fertilizer or some organic fertilizer to renew their energy. It is very tiring on plants to produce flowers and seeds. 

  Before I get to weed the garden, I had best get some tomatoes, peppers, beans and cucumbers planted. After all, feeding the soul with beauty is wonderful, but feeding my hunger for veggies is even better.

 

 

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