Spring Flowers and The Spring Garden
Spring into action now if you haven't already! Get your spring garden chores done early in spring and it will determine the success of your garden in the next 6 months. So get out of hibernation mode and get digging!
Spring garden general maintenance chores
Every gardener will tell you that there are general maintenance chores in the garden that are required come spring. These are the main ones that I perform each spring :
Mulching - spring is a great time to collect your much needed supply of mulch that is essential for the hot summer months ahead. Straw is great as is animal manure (poultry for vegetables, horse or cow manure for more general ornamental flowers), grass clippings and newspapers too.
Compost - whilst you're collecting your materials for mulch, why not start a compost heap? Spring is the ideal time to start one as the weather warms up and time it takes for organic materials speeds up. Allocate an area down the rear of your garden and start adding the layers - vegetable peelings, tea leaves, grass clippings, shredded newspaper. Add some manure, comfrey, borage and lime to speed up the process. Turn the heap occasionally to aerate (handy compost aerator is a lifesaver and makes the task of turning a breeze). There's really no excuse not to get started with composting no matter how small - we have enough landfill as it is. Just get a ready made tumbler and start cooking nature's best free fertilizer - your garden will love you for it! Read more about compost.
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Watering - you will probably need to water deeply on a weekly basis now. Deep watering will encourage deep root growth which is essential for great plants, flowers and trees. Adequate watering now in spring will ensure that your garden is prepared for the hot months ahead. Watering cans are a must in every garden - is it time to upgrade your old one?
Take cuttings of your favorite plants like asters, gerberas and marguerite daisies in early spring and you'll have free new plants!
Mowing the lawn - With the warmer spring weather, your lawn which would've been lying dormant would suddenly take on a life of its own! Regular mowing, feeding and weeding now will ensure that all those lawn games in summer will be a treat rather than a threat.
Pruning and cleaning up the garden is another spring time chore. This is especially true for fruit trees, prune them after they finish flowering. Stone fruit trees like peaches should be cut back quite hard whilst apple and pear trees require thinning of fruit spurs to prevent overcrowding of the fruit.
Spring flowers in the garden
If there is something that heralds spring's arrival it has to be the flowers and the sheer abundance of the blooms is enough to cheer those winter blues away. In areas where the last frost is over, it is safe to start planting out seedlings of summer flowers. A few of my favorite flowers are asters, petunias, verbenas, gladioli, sweet peas. Or plant those spring bulbs in time for the summer display!
Tiarella - Spring Symphony
The Tiarella 'Spring Symphony',Tiarella Hybrid', has distinctive, frothy blooms that set the stage for other spring flowers. This attractive and versatile plant is a wonderful groundcover, and a mainstay of the shade or woodland garden. A great texture plant, especially for Hosta beds and shady corners. The palmate, clumping, and neat foliage is painted with black along the midrib, and the profuse pink flowers are astounding. It also is humidity resistant.
Hollyhock - Indian Spring
The Hollyhock Indian Spring, 'Alcea rosea 'Indian Spring', has very tall spires of old fashioned flowers. The flowers are 3 to 6 inches wide and appear in colors of yellow, purple, pink, red, and white. They begin to bloom in early summer and continue to bloom for 30 to 90 days. Hollyhocks prefers full sun and heat. The plants should not be crowded by other plants and they require good air circulation. Hollyhocks thrive in heavily composted fertile, organic soils. They require regular waterings. Plant seed in early summer, if planted too early they seem to lose their perennial habit. Indian Spring is used for edible flowers, cut flowers, dried flowers, and as background screens.