Friday, March 19, 2021

Spring garden frenzy

Time is zipping by.  As we officially welcome spring, I'm hustling to finish some of the pruning I should've  completed in late winter.  But every time I walk through the garden, I'm distracted from the tasks at hand by one or another pretty new bloom.  And yet I'm also feeling the need to prepare for summer as new bulbs arrive every other day.  My head is spinning!

This week, I decided it was time to prune the rest of my Leucadendrons.  Cutting back Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' was almost painful.

This image was taken in mid-January

This one, captured from the opposite direction, was taken in mid-February

Here are 'Safari Sunset' and 'Blush' after pruning.  The best things I can say is that the pruning makes the plants surrounding the Leucadendrons more noticeable - and, with a little time, the Leucadendrons will be back, looking as flashy as ever.

As I was pruning, I put aside stems for a vase.  Then to further assuage my sadness about the massive pruning, I spent another hour or more stripping stems of leaves to offer as a giveaway to neighbors.  They didn't disappear as fast as most of what I put out on the curb and I even threw some of these away.  My husband says that may be because the cut stems blended in with the fresh flush of foliage on the Xylosma hedge.

 
There are still a few more Leucadendrons to prune, as well as a couple more Pennisetum grasses I'd lost track of but I also started work on cleaning up the area that will front the Ginkgo tree when it arrives.

I decided to widen the flagstone path where it intersects with the back patio, which meant cutting back succulents on either side.  I rounded up a couple of flagstones from other areas of the garden, which I still need to dig into place.

I'll replant a portion of these Aeonium 'Kiwi Verde' cuttings but I expect I'll be giving away a lot of them away


Meanwhile, the dahlia tubers I ordered last year started to arrive, which of course meant that I should pull the tubers I'd dug up and divided at the end of the last season out of the garage.  With three more new tubers still in the mail, I've got more dahlias than my cutting garden can handle.

I'll move the dahlias from these temporary pots into the raised planters once the spring blooms are gone.  I'd conveniently forgotten how many tubers I'd saved last season when I ordered more.  I wonder how many people in the neighborhood might be interested in dahlia tubers?


To complicate matters, another shipment of summer bulbs arrived yesterday.

Just where I'd planned to put these, I can't say off-hand


Despite the start of daylight savings time, there just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done right now.  Even so, it's important to stop and appreciate the new wonders each day brings.

Including the almost fluorescent flowers of Arctotis 'Large Marge'

And don't the white Freesias look nice with the variegated Helichrysum petiolare hiding their flopping stems?  I'd forgotten I'd planted any Freesias there.

A minute or two is necessary to ponder whether this will be the year Leucospermum 'Sunrise' decides to bloom for the first time.  Are those leaf buds or infant blooms?


I hope you're seeing more signs of spring too - and that you're taking time to enjoy them.  Have a great weekend!


All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

23 comments:

  1. Even here we are seeing signs of spring, although it's about a month earlier than usual, so a cold snap is more than likely. I know what you mean about bulbs - and plants in general. Whether online or at the nursery, I never end up with only what I planned to purchase and then I'm left wondering where I'm going to put everything. But we always find a way, don't we ;)

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    1. I get carried away, especially with bulbs. In the back of my mind I think "well, I can always plant them in pots." So I end up with a lot of bulbs - and a lot of pots ;)

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  2. I admire your energy and drive, Kris. I'm still not out of hibernation mode yet and feeling quite lazy. I think the time change is making me even more tired, ha!
    Your arriving shipments reminded me of the shrub orders placed in the dead of winter (what was I thinking?) that will arrive in a month or so. Since we still have snow, it'll be a while before I can prepare the beds for them. I hope my energy picks up soon. What's your secret? Coffee IV??

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    1. Actually, I don't drink coffee at all, although maybe the diet ice tea I drink at breakfast and lunch provides the required caffeine boost. My energy goes up and down and I'm definitely getting a later start since the time changed.

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  3. My Leucospermum is showing the same growth as yours. I will be shocked if it actually blooms.I'm already shocked that it made it through our relentlessly frosty winter. I have a box of Dahlias from Swan Island in the garage-I actually know where they are going to be planted -a break from my usual buy it and figure out the spot later. Couple more weeks and thew soil will be warm enough.

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    1. I've been fooled by Leucospermum "buds" that turned out to be leaves before, Kathy. 'Brandi' took 3 years to bloom. My Swan Island order is in transit. I usually squeeze 4-5 dahlias into each of my 3 raised planters and could pop a couple more into pots so it'll probably work out but I'm seeking to give away some of my extra tubers anyway. I divided many of last year's tubers so I had extras even before I started ordering new ones.

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  4. It is that frenetic time of year. Just try to remember 'it doesn't all have to be done in one day'. At least that is what my husband tells me fairly regularly. I do like those white fresias where they are planted. What a fun time of year. Try to enjoy it too.

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    1. I let a lot of things slide during the winter months by being a bit too casual about setting goals in the garden, Lisa, despite the fact that weather doesn't put up the roadblocks for me as it does in many parts of the country. I feel a need to catch up. That said, I agree on the importance of "stopping to smell the roses".

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  5. Wish I could have driven by your Leucadendron give-away Kris. YOu're a good neighbor. I have some seeds and now some bulbs to get started on. Glad to know I'm not the only person who orders things without knowing where they'll go. Happy planting. Everything looks wonderful.

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    1. Thanks, Susie. Although I felt this last giveaway was one of the least successful, I received a very nice thank you note from a neighbor and a dozen eggs from her "happy chickens" yesterday evening. That alone made it, and many of my previous giveaways, worthwhile.

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  6. Your give-aways must be educating at least a few people in the neighborhood about the joys of gardening. Seeds planted, maturing to neighborhood beauty in the future--isn't that a great thought?

    What was your source for the bulbs?

    Yep, frantic here too, using every bit of cool weather than remains.

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    1. I can definitely say that some of the neighbors are embracing succulents, HB. Those cuttings go the fastest and there are seldom any left behind.

      I got this year's dahlia tubers from Eden Brothers and Swan Island (although I was disappointed by the packaging of the tubers from the former this year). The most recent order of bulbs came from Brent & Becky's Bulbs.

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  7. If I lived near you I'd make swinging by to see what was on offer part of my regular trips to and from home!

    Here that frantic feel has peeks and valleys based on the weather. If it's a dry day then I have the "so much to do!" panic and if it's not then I focus on other things, frequently looking at the forecast to see when I can get back out there. I know many people here who think nothing of gardening in the rain, but I am not one of them.

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    1. Weather is seldom a roadblock here, Loree, which is a good-bad thing, depending on how tired I am ;) One neighbor did tell me that she swings by this way periodically and notes when there's something on the curb. Our neighborhood road is a circle so some neighbors probably never come round this way unless they're walkers, of which there are quite a few.

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  8. Oh, I so wish you were my neighbor-- i would have gladly taken those Leucadendron off your hands. They're so beautiful. I like how you left notes with them. :)

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    1. I hope my giveaways encourage some neighbors who might not garden much to spread their wings so I leave notes to help make growing plants, or even using cut flowers, a more positive experience :)

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  9. I'm really looking forward to seeing your dahlias this summer. I just hope mine come through again this year :)

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    1. I always keep my fingers crossed on dahlia tubers until they sprout, Angie. I've only had a couple of complete failures but some tubers do keep me waiting a long time.

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  10. Pruning Leucadendrons...nice! I can't imagine having them in the garden, let alone having enough to prune. I love them, though. A shipment of summer bulbs: You can't beat that! Enjoy!

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    1. If I'm counting correctly, I currently have 15 Leucadendrons, Beth. It's a lot of pruning ;)

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  11. I love the combination of the Cousin Itt plant with the Helichrysum petiolare with the white Freesias. Do you continually prune the Helichrysum back or every few years replace it?
    The red tips on the margins of gray-green leaves of Leucospermum ‘Sunrise’ is very beautiful in itself!

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    1. That variegated Helichrysum is much less vigorous than some of its cousins, Kay, so I just prune the tips lightly on occasion, replacing it when its base gets too woody.

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    2. The red tips are nectaries - hopefully some of your insects are enjoying them too.

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