John Zvirovski / Sun Garden Editor
May is already over half done and there is always so much to do. I don’t know about you, but the month for me is filled with various outdoor activities and events. Obviously everyone is a little different depending on the organizations they are associated with, but I can assure you that sometimes you can volunteer for a little too much and run yourself thin. For me it is the month of May, and things seem to tame down after that.
From early on I use to love learning about the numerous woodland plants and wild flowers that abound in the tri-state area. It was always fun just to go out and explore on an adventure to see what new things we could find. My mom used to take us out on nature trails with an identification book in hand and we would look up each new thing we found. Often we would have a list ahead of time of things to keep our eyes open for to see who could find which item first. Maybe a natural scavenger hunt in a way.
The season for rhubarb has arrived, and the plants should be growing quickly already. So often people are not quite sure what to do with this plant, but there are others that would do anything to get their hands on it! It is a northern crop and doesn't exist in the South, so many people are intrigued by its uses. Rhubarb can be used for many cooking recipes, mostly desserts and jams, but all are good. The most common of all is rhubarb pie, sometimes mixed with other berries.
With the start of the garden season comes a whole array of creative ideas for the garden. Often we have pursued different ideas throughout the winter, and now it is time to implement some of them, only to be overwhelmed at too many projects. I find it is always best to take your three top ideas if they are consuming ones to make an impact. Always keep in mind the time and care each item will take so you know what your summer holds. You don’t want to fill all your free time with maintenance projects, so choose wisely.
We have discussed before how to plan for a cool and damp season with annuals and perennials, but we can also add to the mix various garden products. Gardens are not just for flowers or landscapes, but they also include items -- herbs, vegetables and fruits -- that we can consume.
Now that we are allowed to work in the yard, you may have noticed some shrubs that became damaged by the ice storm in December or the heavy snow that took the stems down as it melted.
Oh, alas! The warm weather is settling in and the heavy jackets can come off. Even a few days to dare the barefoot routine while walking the dog! Yes, may sound a bit early, but the weather is dictating that we can take advantage of the mild and consistent days … for now. There is another month ahead that could still give us a good snowstorm. A few years back I remember the winter that would never leave and recall a snowfall of over a foot of snow near the third week of April, so it could still happen. Do I think it will?
The spring season always seems to heighten our anticipation for spring flowers and color. The appearance of blooms in shades of red, yellow, orange, pink, purple and white are very alluring to all of us after a gray, colorless winter. Of all the colors that first appear, it is the yellow shades that seem to grab our attention the most. I don’t know if it is because that color seems to be fluorescent to our senses or because it is the color of sunshine.
It’s time to take inventory of your garden seeds and see what will be needed this year.
Luckily for us and our gardens, we got a week of cooler weather to slow things down a bit. Seems like a great deal of the country is experiencing a very early spring season to date, but that is not always a good thing for all the plant materials that are being tricked into making an early arrival. I always tell people, don’t worry too much about the cycle as plants have a way of resurrecting in the event of a hard frost, storm or damaging wind. They always seem to persevere in any situation because this is just the act of survival.