John Zvirovski / Sun Garden Editor
Bold colors that make shady areas pop to life always get my attention.
What is wrong with my plant? That is a common question I hear throughout the year, and often a very vague one. Many times it is just through conversation and there is no plant to look at so a series of questions need to be asked in order to narrow down the possibilities. It is not a bad question as there are so many things that can affect our plants and regardless what your gardening skill level is, you still have to ask the question from time to time.
The colors of late spring are upon us and soon the gardens will be filled with constant color until the autumn frosts arrive. This is the time to make sure you have the greatest impact in your garden that you can create in whatever way you see fit. We all love bright colors to catch our eye, but all colors have their purpose in the right setting with equal impacts. There are always a few key principles to remember to achieve the design details in which you seek.
The season is well underway in the gardens. The cool weather should be behind us, and the plants can start going into the ground. You might want to think about all the people around you that you begin to entice in enhancing their own yards due to complete envy in what you are doing yourself. I have found if you make your yard look good, it is somewhat contagious to the people around you.
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.