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Spring is worth the work



  I look at my beds of shrubs, trees and flowers and know that all the work I do in order to have this microcosm of Heaven has reaped its harvest. “Oh, my goodness,” as my Aunt Maggie was often heard to say when she saw something that pleased her. I never knew really what that meant on a word by word basis, but it makes me know that whatever stimulates this response is about as good as IT gets. So, this is the “Oh, my goodness” time of the year for my garden.

An example of a Waterfall-shaped Wisteria.           Special photo

 First, the wisteria waterfall is having a wonderful year. Fortunately, I pruned it timely and correctly and the weather assisted by not having an untimely frost to kill the blossoms. It could not have another blossom. If you are jealous of my plant, let me tell you that this is the biggest commitment in my garden or perhaps I should be committed for even trying it. I have to prune it about every two weeks after the growth starts. I have to be very diligent and remove those runners from the roots that would take over the yard (I have thought about using a sucker control chemical on the trunk to see if that works - it does on many plants). This pruning and vigilant attention goes on until a hard freeze. I have earned the right to enjoy this short moment of glory. I have three of these in my garden. I secretly enjoy those along the roadside blooming beautifully in the trees. I should not, because they are foreign invaders that threaten our native trees, shrubs and wildflowers just like Kudzu.

 Second, the botanical tulips that I encourage everyone to plant in their garden are delightful. These tiny bulbs, once planted, require nothing from you. I have put their pictures in the paper before, but must encourage you to plant them this fall. Look online or in plant catalogs for botanical tulips. They multiply and return year after year unless you dig them up accidentally.

A Euphorbia plant in Kathy’s Garden.                    Special photo

 Third, my Euphorbias are making massive statements in the landscape. Yes, I know they are invasive. But there are ways to keep them in tow. You can cut the bloom cluster off after they finish blooming, thus removing the seed or you can just pull up the shallow-rooted seedlings where they are unwanted. I love them - I want more of them so I just let them bloom everywhere, then I pull them up.

 I feel sorry for the wonderful plants that I did not mention - the early iris, the late daffodils, the pincushion flowers, the Helleborus (greatest plant in the world), the woodland phlox and hyacinths and all the others busily making my garden the most wonderful place in the world. Oh, yes and I do have massive amounts of weeds which keep me in great shape, moving up and down and using those dormant back and leg muscles. Gardening is so good!



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