Spring cleaning

Crocus and mountain mint's spring growth

According to the calendar — and the redwing blackbirds — the pendulum between winter and summer has finally swung into spring. Huzzah! (Never mind next week’s forecast.) To celebrate, we did some extremely gratifying spring cleaning, starting with tidying under the benches of the propagation house (kind of like going through the closets at home – there were treasures and horrors…), and making the frame and windows sparkle.

The propagation house sparklesAnd since it has also officially become impossible not to scratch the itch to get into the gardens, we started clearing winter’s mess from there too. Yesterday, some of the Rockettes and I cut back the Pollinator Garden with the sun warm on our backs (funny how temperatures in the 30s and 40s feel balmy now if the wind isn’t blowing), and dumped 4 cartloads of no-longer-winter-interesting seedheads and stems on the compost. And today, Gail, Betsy, a few hardy Florabundas, and I worked in the morning fog and damp to cut back epimedium, liriope and sedge (Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’)  in the Moongate bed, making way for their spring flush and revealing some of the spring tinies we have planted in there. I think I speak for all of us when I say it feels so good (in a slightly painful sort of way) to stretch our gardening muscles again.

Gail and Betsy starting to cut back the Moongate bedCutting back and finding vole holes...Almost done cutting back the Moongate bed

We have been so anxious to see what survived winter and just how much was damaged/destroyed by voles and it looks like we’ll be forced to forfeit liriope’s evergreen display in coming winters — it offers way too much cover for the critters. As for winter kill, we can’t be sure yet about certain marginally hardy perennials like Salvia guaranitica — that one is always late to emerge. But the Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’ has never looked worse. Might be a good thing we took some cuttings last fall.)

Have you started spring cleaning yet? Inside and/or out? Can you tell yet if you lost anything precious to winter?

2 thoughts on “Spring cleaning

  1. Oh, yes, Spring is definitely in the air down here in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. The last few days have been glorious — I won’t tell you the temperature, you’ll only get jealous. Ah, Spring cleanup . . .I see a LOT of winter burn so I’ve taken clippers in hand and have started to prune, trim and unfortunately pull out some of the damage from this winter’s polar vortex. My herb garden took the biggest hit. While Rosemary usually survives our past winters, not this winter; into the compost heap it went. The daffodils, forysthia, and ornamental trees litterly popped open over night. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that the next three nights of below freezing weather doesn’t zap them.

    Gypsy, I am jealous of your spring but see it as a sign that ours is on its way. — Hope our daffs pop “overnight” too! Sorry to hear about your herb garden – will you be replacing your rosemary? -kris

  2. Oh, that Rosemary was immediately replaced with three new plants. It’s probably the most well used herb from my garden and I couldn’t cook without it. Plus, I love to brush the plant whenever I cruise through the garden. The fragrance is divine, is it not?. Unfortunately, we’re in the middle of three nights of below freezing weather and those little babies are covered with pots just to be on the safe side. That winter lion is still roaring:-)

    Ugh. It sure is – we seem to be in for more snow… Fingers crossed for your new rosemary plants! (I can’t live without it either and winter my plants over in a chilly, bright entry porch.) -kris

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