After a punishing winter we are being treated to glorious renewal and rebirth.  Finally! The green is revealing itself more each day and so are the optimistic heads of snowdrops, Scilla and early daffs. For gardeners, this is draft season:  choosing your most-loved plants, assembling your maps and charts for hardiness, special requirements and benefits.
We’re all planning the ultimate garden victory. The excitement is palpable.
As  for gardening right now, you can simply manage your garden while lying on an outdoor lounger soaking up the rays or stay inside.  Learn your zone, what grows there and what doesn’t. Consult seed books and buy what pleases you online. I am an antique fragrant rose enthusiast and each spring I order from Pickering Nurseries in Port Hope which mails bare root roses just about anywhere.  It’s wonderfully detailed and illustrated site takes you through rose culture step by step.
And I regularly visit Richter’s Herbs, also world renowned, in Goodwood, Ontario for rare and fragrant herb and spice plants.  Hannibal Lecter, the fictional sensualist (amongst other things!), said the centuries-old herbalist and perfumer Officina profumo-farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Florence, Italy was the most beautiful smelling place on earth.   I’ve been there and say he’s close, but for my money, its Richter’s with its hot, humid exoticism.
Three things to do RIGHT now:
  • Restrain yourself.  Please don’t walk on wet lawns now. You risk hardening the ground so that it becomes useless and must be dug and patched back to health. Just wait a little longer.
  • Bring in branches of fruit and flower trees to “force” indoors in water. All that means is cutting the bottoms and sticking them in a jar of H2O.  In two weeks, I swear, blooms will bring colour and joy to your home.
  • Plan, plan, plan. Shop for garden hardware like furniture and trellises and corn gluten to fertilise and naturally weed grass.  Order plants and seeds online.
  • Visualise the results because in a week or two you’ll be up to your elbows in lovely dirt, sowing cold weather crops like asparagus, lettuce and broccoli.
When the time is right and ground is dry, don’t forget to edge the beds, cut and remove debris, deadhead plants you left intact for food and shelter for the wee beasts to start with a clean slate.  Add some compost or triple mix to feed your beds, along with mixed Epsom salts and bone meal for the roses and specialty mixes for the shrubs, trees and flower beds.
Later still you’ll receive those roses in the mail. They will send them to you when they think the time is right to plant in your area.  More later.
Dear readers, this sounds like so much work and it is. May will be even busier, but once you’ve set your garden, then all it requires some maintenance, experimentation, food and love and then you will have your reward.