My April, 2014 Garden Chores

March 29, 2014

HOW’S YOUR GARDEN COMING ALONG? You can let me know by leaving a comment. Meanwhile, my own planted place is at least ten days behind schedule. But the snow is finally melting, the Dutch bulbs are emerging, and the Chinese Witch Hazel (above) is in fragrant bloom. So it’s time to begin these April garden chores:

Winter-Sowing. Lots of you have written to say your winter-sown seeds are sprouting. That’s music to my ears!

Alas, here in New York’s Hudson Valley (zone 5-b), it’s been too cold for germination to occur. But I’m not worried. The seeds will sprout in mid- to late-April, and more will pop up in early May. I’ll sow tender annuals and vegetables in milk jug greenhouses around April 15.

New to Winter-Sowing? You can read all about it in these mind-blowing posts:

Winter-Sowing 101
How to Turn a Milk Jug into a Greenhouse
What to Winter-Sow…& When
How to Transplant Winter-Sown Seedlings

Perennial Beds. To avoid damaging emerging shoots, do what I do, and clean up beds entirely by hand. Then apply a balanced, organic fertilizer over the old mulch. Place fresh mulch over the fertilizer.

Mulch. Consider how much you’ll need, and then obtain twice that amount. This way you’ll have plenty on hand for beds and paths. Shredded woodchips, which many of us can obtain for free, make a fine mulch for beds, and you don’t have to let them age first, as I’d previously thought.  Shredded leaves, of course, are also terrific for mulching beds.

Dealing with Weeds.  If pulling weeds isn’t your idea of a good time — I can’t bear the job — plan to smother the offenders with thick layers of newspaper or cardboard, as above, followed by a another layer of shredded leaves or some other mulch. Do this after the ground has thawed.

I use common white vinegar to eliminate the weeds which emerge in my brick, gravel, and blue-stone walkways. I do not use vinegar on my lawn or in my garden beds.

Dandelions. I let these grow in the lawn during all of April and most of May. Why? Because dandelions provide early food for honey bees.  By late May, when the bees can find food elsewhere in the garden, I keep the weeds out of sight with regular mowing.

Boxwood. Late this month or early next, hire a professional to shear and shape these enduring evergreens. I always save some of the trimmings to make new plants.

And if you’re wondering, that is not my rear end in the photo above.

Roses. Uncover and prune shrubs before leaf break. I prune my David Austin roses (pictured above) back by about half, and then apply a balanced, organic fertilizer beneath the drip-line of each. To conserve moisture and reduce weeds, I mulch first with newspaper or cardboard. Then I apply a layer of shredded leaves or shredded wood chips. Here are some of the better roses I grow for their handsome form and intoxicating perfume.

Blackspot. If your roses suffer from this fungal disease, you can treat it with ordinary milk. The details.

Peony. Apply a trowel-full of wood ashes and one of manure or compost (triple these amounts for huge plants). Also, set ringed supports around plants before heavy growth makes the job impossible. If your peony refuses to bloom, it is either planted too deeply or set in a too-shady location.

Chrysanthemums. Lift and separate, just as this old Playtex commercial advised at the 15-second mark. Then plant the rooted divisions 18 inches apart.

Iris. Remove and destroy old leaves. Also, remove any surrounding debris in which the eggs of the dreaded iris borer may lie. As you can see in the photo above, my own iris bed is in desperate need of attention. I’m on it.

Ponds & Fountains. Clean out leaves, but watch that you are not cleaning out frogs, too. These are emerging from their muddy hibernation now.

And finally, don’t work so hard that you miss out on the miracle of Spring!

In the comments field below, let me know what’s happening in your garden. Is it awake yet? Or is it still buried in snow?

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Related Posts:
Fougasse aux Herbes de Provence
Clara’s Dandelion Salad
Cranberry Almond Tart

Comments

  1. Andie says:

    I am angst filled this year. The midwestern winter has done a great deal of damage, as have my bunny friends. I hope the aftermath is not as bad as I think it is.
    Nonetheless, I look forward to this season and constantly check the gardens for new growth. I planted over 1,000 bulbs in the near frozen ground in December. I hope they make it! :)
    Looking forward to learning a great from you!

    xo
    Andie

  2. Marjean says:

    This weekend I’m flooded out of my gardens. We needed the rain but I would have appreciated it more back in December when it was supposed to be raining so hard and was dry instead! I’ll just have to work around it and work in some of the dryer areas. There’s always something to do on a Spring weekend.

    One thing I have to brag about though. My husband loves the gorgeous blue camas that bloom wild in our area. I planted a few store-bought clumps years ago in a corner of our front yard. He decided to try seeding them last summer all over our other front beds by just shaking the seed pods onto bare ground and WOW! We now have at least a hundred baby camas plants coming up all over! It must have been perfect conditions this winter to have them germinate. In a few years, after the bulbs matures, we’ll have a sea of blue out front in late April, early May. I’m baking him a pie today as a thank you. :-)

  3. badger gardener says:

    Nothing is emerging just yet in SE Wisconsin. The snow has finally receded except where it was piled up. Supposed to have temps in 50′s next 2 days so will enjoy getting some garden clean up done. So far I have done zero since the ground has been frozen.
    No sprouts yet in the milk jugs that went out in Jan. About a week or two ago I put out seeds for royal purple zinnia, bright lights cosmos, morning glory, and coleus. Wasn’t expecting the coleus seeds to be so small and hard to handle. Hopefully I can get some good plants and then reproduce from cuttings in the future.
    It will be a well-earned spring when it finally shows itself.

  4. Erin Brady says:

    My crocuses are blooming! I have so much to do, I can’t wait for some sunny days to get out there!

  5. Rachel says:

    Hello from zone 5 Portland Maine. Still a heavy snow pack in my front yard. Back yard a tad better but not much. Too much snow to work outside. Been amusing myself with some indoor seed starting of parsley and hot peppers. The big seedling push will be in a few weeks. Can’t wait to see what happens with my winter sowing. Love your blogs, thank you for being so descriptive and witty!

  6. Jane says:

    Hi. I’m in northern IL and my moms snowdrops are in bloom. Mine are not but to me this means spring is on it’s way. Finally. The willows and forsithia are changing color. Another sign! I made your Greek yogurt today. Yum!!! First time and I will definitely do it again. Also have lettuce in milk jug green houses in a sunny spot inside. Can’t wait. Made your naan recipe and there wasn’t a crumb left!!! Thanks for all the fun things to try!!!!

  7. Bob says:

    Hi Kevin, here in Montreal, we’re in the midst of our last snow storm ;-)

  8. Carly says:

    My winter-sown plants have not yet germinated either, as I’m in the same zone as you. :(
    You mentioned that you plant April 15th in milk-jug greenhouses. Do you mean sowing directly in the ground and then covering with a milk jug? Also, I wonder if you could offer me some advice. This year I’m moving to a new gardening spot and the ground is not tilled. When is a good time to begin tilling? Thanks!

  9. Kate says:

    I’m only going to plant a herb garden this year. I’m low on free time between school,work, and horses. I’m also house hunting across the state so I’m giving my garden a pass. I’ll enjoy yours! :)

  10. badger gardener says:

    Scratch my last post because I found the very first of my crocuses peeking out of the ground. My favorite moment of spring. Not putting the snow shovels away just yet though.

  11. I am still buried in 3ft of snow. I am hoping this rain will take most of it away . The robins arrived at the beginning of March and preceded to eat all of the crab apples of my trees. My honey bees arrive at the beginning of May. I don’t have their little home set up, too much snow! I do hope Spring has some balls and kicks some Winter butt!

  12. Hi Carly – If you must till your garden, wait until the soil dries out a little. As for seeds — I start my tender annuals in milk jug greenhouses in mid-April (it’s still too cold to direct-sow these).

  13. Lori G. says:

    Spring is sort of sprung here in Central Nebraska zone 5b. We get a couple nice days and then cold and almost snowy. But still we are super dry! The grass is greening. My bulbs are sending their shoots up. So far I’ve found daffodils, tulips and grape hyacinth poking up. No sign of the big hyacinth or allium yet, but they’re coming along. I also noticed with enormous delight that the peonies I transplanted last fall from my grandmother’s garden have survived the winter and are sprouting nicely. That makes three of them now. After the drought in 2012, most of her peonies died. I thought you couldn’t kill them if you tried.

    Grandma Vi died over 10 years ago and we bought her house from the estate. We are in the process of cleaning it up for sale and I’m robbing some of the plantings. She had the most adorable fine-leaved peonies! So I swiped them for the garden at my new house. I love free perennials!

    None of my winter sown seeds have germinated yet. I’m having some problems getting my pepper seeds to start this year. But I will persevere.

  14. We had 4 inches of snow and freezing rain yesterday. Any plants that were going to bloom have changed their minds–again. I’m looking forward to the new roses and perennials I planted last August. I hope we all survive this god-awful winter!

  15. Sarabeth says:

    Hi Kevin – got my milk jugs planted per your instructions but nothing emerging yet. Here on frozen Lake Huron in Michigan we are still up to our knees in snow. Burp0ee just delivered 8 inch tall live plants to my door – I am distressed! Apparently they do not know our last frost date is May 30th! Hope I can keep them going indoors till mid-May.
    Hurry Spring!

  16. Jim Lambert says:

    My Trillium’s seem to pop out of the ground like magic this time of year – no blooms yet.
    My ferns (which I always cut completely back in late February are also starting to form new fronds – I love Spring in the Pacific Northwest -

  17. Joni Davis says:

    I think this year will be like last – when the snow melts my tulips will be up about six inches! Can hardly wait for winter to be over and our last blizzard to be done and gone!

  18. Connie says:

    Something is spouting out there here in lower MI, I think daffodils! Question: is your Chinese Witch Hazel deer resistant or do you have it in your fenced garden? Deer are a big problem here but I’d love to try to grow it. Thanks. Connie

  19. Marjie T. says:

    Here in Ozaukee County, WI. we are still among the chosen frozen. Lake Michigan is still mostly ice-covered and only 8 hundred feet from the garden. I don’ think I will even try melons this year as I suspect our growing season will be shorter than usual. As soon as the ground thaws, I will be searching for the parsnips that sat all winter under mulch – they should be really sweet. Very excited here as I just learned I will be getting 5 beehives next to the orchard that a local beekeeper cares for.

    Thank you for your blog of inspiration! By the way, the Irish soda bread was fantastic!

  20. Debbie says:

    SO HAPPY…the last of my snow ‘dissolved’ in yesterdays rain :-)
    I purchased a new home the end of September… it is VOID of all living things (grass -probably CRAB is the exception) ~ therefore, I’d like to THANK YOU KEVIN for all your help with instuctions for raised beds. Found a farm that will deliver organic compost and yesterday a sawmill to get my rough cut hemlock. :-) Lastly, I was informed of a local farm that sells straw ~
    ALL DRESSED UP AND WAITING on Mother Nature to give me the GO AHAED!
    I’m a happy camper now!

  21. Jeanne says:

    Most of the garden is still sleeping. A few warm days allowed me to see primroses. But, alas, another 6″ of snow is falling today. Last week I attended a Master Gardening meeting. Had the privilege of making a salad table, others made salad boxes; spring fever in the Maryland mountains. I think I am going to make the french bread this week. Sounds wonderful and look forward to the fragrance filling the house. Will also do some milk jug sowing this week. Enjoy your week with your hands busy tending your emerging bulbs and perennials.

  22. Scott says:

    So to be clear, the wood chips that can be obtained for free from your own town’s stockpiles DO NOT have to be aged before using as a mulch for beds?

  23. Scott says:

    Also, do you add cardboard or newspaper EVERY YEAR to smother weeds?

    Thanks!

  24. Scott says:

    Also also, which tender annuals and vegetables do you sow in milk jug greenhouses around April 15? I’m just asking because in your other post , “What to Winter Sow & When,” you only have Tomatoes listed for April.

    Thanks in advance for clarifying my 3 comment posts!

    Best,
    Scott

  25. Hi Scott — Wood chips: Be sure to read this fascinating, science-based article called “Drawbacks of Wood Chips — Mulch Ado About Nothing” by Linda Chalker-Scott, PhD.

    Paper mulch: It can last for more than one season, depending upon how thickly it is laid. If weeds start popping up, I know it’s time to re-do. Cardboard lasts longer than paper, but I find it difficult to work with in certain areas. Paper is easy to fold and shape around plants.

    Seeds: I usually winter-sow my tender annuals in March. But March 2014 was unusually cold. Consequently I’ve had to delay these sowings until April.

  26. Liz C in Salem says:

    Snow melting? We have 4′ in our yard and more came this A.M. My gardens are buried. Still, my veggie & herbs starts are coming up in my little greenhouse in my guest room. Happy spring to those enjoying it already.

  27. Lou in Old Chatham says:

    Thanks for remembering the bees! They do so dearly need those dandelions.

    A dandelion’s pollen and nectar is one of the best early spring foods the bees get, as well as all the tree pollen! If you suffer from spring allergies, remember it will pay you back in honey later!

  28. Anne says:

    Ugh .. I still have 3′ of snow in my yard. Today it is raining and hoping the basement doesn’t flood!

  29. Susan L. Golden says:

    I’m sure that you can identify with my situation here in WNY! I was peeking at my milk jugs when the snow melted last week, hoping for some sign of green! Today, they are buried in a foot of snow, again! Oh well, I’ll just keep planting new ones then! I am also thrilled to hear that you are not a weed fanatic. The chemicals used to eliminate them are so bad for our environment! I’m with you. Viva la Dandelions! :-)

  30. Kat says:

    We aren’t that far from you Kevin, but we are still under ice and snow. Except our garden, which is flooded today, our raised beds are totally under water. Which wouldn’t be such a problem except my spouse planted all of our garlic last fall down in that part of garden. After loosing our whole garden to flooding last summer I warned him to plant part of the garlic at another location, he didn’t listen. Guess we probably won’t have any home grown garlic this year.

  31. Peggy says:

    Sounds like we are lucky here in s WA. Just have been having LOTS of rain. Luckily, I got almost all the flowerbeds weeded for the first time on the last stretch of warm sunny weather about a week ago. Also, hauled a huge bucket of rabbit manure and spread that around the beds. See daffodils, crocus, and plums trees starting to bloom. Can see the starts of peonies, delphiniums, daylilies, and other perennials poking up through the damp soil. The hummingbirds are buzzing around and see them feeding off the mountain mahogany which is blooming now and the feeders of course.

  32. Martha in Holliston, MA says:

    The good news is my snow drops are in bloom and my crocuses and allium are pushing their foliage through on the south side. The bad news is the deer have destroyed my northwest passage of all the groundcover (including helebores) and munched away on my rhododendrons and other shrubs. Oh well, more reasons to visit my favorite garden centers this spring!!

  33. Susan in S.W.Mass. says:

    Nothing green here yet and something ate my flowering quince! All that is left are 4 inch sticks. I could weep, it was just getting established nicely last year. I’m afraid to inspect the rest of my gardens.I need some wine to stop the whining.

  34. Keila says:

    Good evening Kevin! Here in northeast Tennessee, I have tulips, hyacinths, Easter lilies, and crocuses blooming. My stargazer lilies are already popping up about an inch! The dogwoods and lilacs are starting to show a little bit of green. As far as fruits and vegetables go, I have tomato, yellow squash, and zucchini plants that are starting to pop thru the dirt on my enclosed porch that feels like a greenhouse when the sun hits it. I also have leaf lettuce coming up that was in the seed packet kit I won from you, thank you again!!! :) I can’t wait to get the rest of them planted. I truly enjoy gardening, it’s a great mental therapy for me!

  35. Marlyn says:

    It’s 50 degrees today but still have lots of snow. I’m just beginning to see some gardens beds at their edges and a strip of lawn on the north side of the driveway. We’ve had close to 80″ of snow this winter. We got another 4″ last Thursday. Please no more snow! The squirrels ate most of the crabapples much earlier in the winter, but the birds have finished off the ones at the very ends of the branches that the squirrels couldn’t reach. Not an apple left now.

  36. KARLA says:

    STill snow on the ground here in South East Minnesota- zone 4. My milk jug gardens have not sprouted yet. I checked them this morning and moved them from the snow bank to a flatter surface. Did get my patio cleared and table and chairs placed. I am so ready for summer!!

  37. Cheryl says:

    Hi Kevin,
    I live in NE Illinois–we are in the same gardening zone. The sun is out. Almost all of the snow is gone–except in some north areas. The daylilies have started poking their heads out of the ground. My seeds are incubating nicely indoors. Today was spent outside with the “doggie-poop-scooper”! Cleaned the patio. Noticed the dwarf Crabapple has buds. It’s still only in the mid-40s. I am working on practicing patience, patience, patience. I pray every night that we don’t go from the mid-40s to the 80s overnight. We have enough wood on the porch for a few more fires. Turkey-matzo ball soup for dinner. Life is good.
    Cheryl

  38. Jan says:

    With kitchen/living room remodel going into final stages, I finally have time (I think) to sow my veggie/flower seeds. Too late? recommendations? Adjustments to the instructions? Or just follow your excellent instructions in spite of what the calendar says?

  39. Sheryl says:

    Spring?! What spring?! There is still snow everywhere here in northern Vermont…and it was raining snow today (about 35 degrees and slush was falling from the sky)…I love how Bob from Montreal says they are having their LAST snowstorm…such optimism!

    Anyway, no sprouts in my milk jugs, but I am not worried about that and am lining up more to plant my tender annuals in in a couple of weeks. I brought in some crabapple branches and am forcing them – they all have leaves (it’s nice to see the green) and small buds (I can’t wait to see the pink!) – what a good idea to hasten spring.

    On another topic, I just made your Pain de Mie this past weekend, but made too much dough for the small loaf pan I had…so made 6 little dinner rolls with the extra dough…yum and thank you so much for this website – I am having a great time with it!

  40. Peggy says:

    Hi Kevin, This is the first year I’m trying winter sowing. I live in the mid-Hudson Valley, NY and it’s been a brutal winter. Having fun with my little green houses has kept me going and hoping for sunshine. I’ve been following your previous guide as to when to plant but unfortunately, I think I may have planted some seeds too early. I’ve already planted cosmos, cleome, herbs, spinach, swiss chard and lettuce. Should I start over on April 15th? Which vegetables and annuals are considered “tender”. I’m a little confused.

  41. Naomi Shelton says:

    Well, here in mid-Michigan in my neighborhood, the snow is down to dirty little piles on the curbs and at either side of the driveways. It’s quite unsightly, but the forecast for next week is for two days of sun w/temp. as high as 60 degrees followed by three days of rain at the end of the week. So the dirt should disappear as well as the snow. Yay! The daffodils along my driveway are peaking through the ground and I am seeing robins and other birds daily, so that gives me hope that Spring is really here. I have a LOT of work to do, however, as my leaf-raking did not get done last fall and there they are still, having lost their cover of snow. Also, I must do something early on to rid my front flower beds of the wretched Crown Vetch that has taken over. I am thinking of covering it with several green tarps to see if that would kill it. Of course, the myrtle will go with it, but I can replant. Anyway, exciting as Spring is, I feel a bit weary contemplating those two dreary tasks. Still, the daffodils in bloom never fail to life my spirits. Spring, at last!

  42. Rebecca says:

    Spring is finally here in northern Florida. It’s still very wet with unusually cool nights. We also have had the worst pollen season on record. Spring planting is underway but we can’t put out any tropicals for at least another month. My refrigerator chilled daffodil experiment was an utter failure. I only had two out of a hundred bulbs bloom. Oh well, back to my tried and true impatiens around my trees. I have trays of white and red lovelies in the garage waiting to go in the ground. I already put my window boxes in. I planted them with gingerbread caladiums, white snowfall, red impatiens and variegated ivy. They are so cute against my blue Cape Cod salt box. I must enjoy our lovely Spring while I can. Our Summer Mars-scape is just around the corner!

  43. Liza coonse says:

    Don’t be too mad at the southerners! We have had a few 70 degree weekends and I have done a ton of work. The herbs are growing away- the parsley is gorgeous, but someone has started eating it. The daffodils are all almost spent but the tulips are right behind. The roses have lovely baby leaves. The school garden i manage is filled- peas, carrots (sprouting now), kale, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, lettuce, arugula, spinach, and lovely green onion and garlic “leaves.” My son and husband made a green house for the lettuce with a removable cover, so we rescued the lettuce from the cold a few times. But the hardier greens did fine in 28 degree nights. The weekend was all rain and I have already fertilized with Espoma, so I expect much growth when I return from a week of spring break. this week should be 60s and 70s. Happy plants make a happy gardener!!! We in NC wished we had a little more pretty snow and less morning ice this winter!

  44. Gale says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Up here in Neversink, NY in Sullivan County. I saw some tiny Allium shoots peeking out in a south facing border. No daffodils yet. I can’t wait to get back in the garden, but half the yard is still covered with snow

    I am new to your blog, and I want to tell you how fantastic it is. Thank you for sharing your gardening knowledge and culinary expertise.

  45. AmyO says:

    Up here in Vermont I woke this morning to a coating of ice over the still deep snow cover! No sign of any new growth outside, but inside and under the growlights there are loads of fresh Primula seedlings as well as Cyclamen, Lathyrus, Arisaema, Campanula and lots of other goodies.

  46. blake says:

    Southern coast of Maine. Rain has been washing away a lot of snow, but still no signs of crocuses. The snow is piled high where the hostas would be trying to a make their way through the ground. in my yard. However, I do have one kitchen garden bed, right next to the house on the southern side that is snow free! So when this icy rain goes away and the sun shines brightly, I might be able to go out and clean it up. It has been a brutal winter and this year the deer came right up to the house and ate my holly and azalea bushes! First time in 17 years they did that! It is too bad that winter claimed March this year. I hope it doesn’t claim too much of April. I did bring in forsythia branches one cold winter day and they are blooming in my office, so I do have a little bit of spring.

  47. Beverly, zone 6, eastern PA says:

    The last of the major snow got rained away yesterday but overnight we got another dusting.
    Beds are not yet diggable.
    Peas are not yet planted.
    Three homemade coldframes are in place, ready for potted seedlings from inside to graduate outside.
    I have never had to wait this long to get going in the garden.
    Snowdrops are cheering me up, though, en masse.

  48. Debra says:

    Hi, I moved to a new home in December and have not been able to see what I have and do not have that needs work. Looking forward to planting the things I love.

  49. Ruth says:

    I don’t to be hated :) but here in Spain (in particular my garden is in zone 8) we have Spring quite on us already, although we are having heavy rains, again (this is getting serious, so much water which is not usual for us). Crocus have already finished, Daffodils are in bloom, and Tulips are starting to bloom already.

    It’s my first Winter Sowing year following your system and advice David and it went wonderful! :) Thank you very much. I have Lupins, Saxifraga, Sweet Peas, Callistephus, Echinaceas, Rudbeckias, Digitalis Purpurea, and Violas nearly ready to be transplanted already.

    And the Fritalliries I asked to you about are sprouting, at least Imperialis. I digged some of the Meleagris out to ckeck (as you advised) and some were not viable just as you said. Others are also sprouting.

  50. Bruttus says:

    Hi Kevin.
    I put cardboard down for the weeds. to make it easy to work with I fill my wheel barrow up with water. then I run my cardboard thru it like wall paper. make it wet. makes it alot easier to work with. normally gets me thru a coupe seasons. I get my cardboard from down at the liquor store. they always have empty boxes that I break down and use.

  51. Holly says:

    I did the winter sowing in January and I checked on my milk jugs today and the black permanent marker wore off of ALL OF THEM! I have no idea what is in the jugs now. I have 40 of them!

  52. Ann Honer says:

    Hi Kevin,
    I was late with winter sowing this year, but I don’t think it will matter. here in N Illinois the ground is still frozen.
    I do have snowdrops flowering and several bulbs sprouting.
    Also my garlic is growing. Do I need to cover it?

    Holly, I bet your garden will look beautiful with all the mixed plants!

  53. Sharon says:

    Crocus and winter aconite are FINALLY blooming in my zone 6 garden. I judge everything to be a month behind.

  54. Cathy in Cleveland says:

    70 degrees in Cleveland with blue skies and sunshine…there is hope!

  55. Lynne says:

    Outside is sunny, cold and frequently very rainy. So, I have my grow light working to encourage my seeds indoors. The squash and peas are doing very well. I even have one delicate squash sprouting along with fennel, tomatoes (four varieties) and others. We are waiting warmer temps (hope springs eternal on the north coast) and the construction of my second raised bed. Bed one is 13′ x 3′ x 12″. The second will be 12′ x 3′ by 6″. Bed one will be primarily for root veggies, beets, onions, leeks, carrots and a first attempt at potatoes. The new bed will be for peppers, peas, tomatoes etc. I am still enjoying the canned bounty of last year’s crops!

  56. Karen says:

    Hi Kevin, I’ve got three Dizzy Rose plants — not sure how to prune them. They were planted just last spring. Thanks — and thanks for a great blog,
    Karen

  57. Daniel says:

    The blossoms have fallen from the flowering cherry by the house, but not before the chickens had a feast of cherry blossoms (http://wp.me/p44c6k-qz). There is something about cherry and plum blossoms that chickens can’t resist. Now the double cherry blossoms around the pond are in full bloom. Nothing says spring like cherry blossoms.

  58. Mama Mary says:

    I have the large purple iris plants that my husband’s grandmother planted so many years ago in full bloom!!! They are so beautiful! Here in Texas, they never die back, like yours do. I just leave them alone, maybe pull the grass back off of them a bit now and then, and they multiply and bloom wonderfully every year!

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