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Spring, the glorious beginning of the growing season bringing soft warm weather and fantastic color, unless it all goes sideways. This spring is a great example of how messy new beginnings can be. A cold winter, cool to cold spring weather warming just enough for pollen to flow continuously, and then a hot May. Last year it was an early wonderful warm spring and a summer with just enough rain. Who knows what next year will bring?

So how do we cope with all this crazy up and down? I think we are at the point where we need to let go and follow Mother Nature’s currently erratic lead. Schedules and timetables are no longer always the solid foundation for growing things. So, don’t worry about where you should be right now and work from where you are.

A few things you may notice this year:

Knockout Roses, Japanese Maples, Russian Sage, Butterfly Bush, Abelia, and other assorted woody plants were hit hard by the cold temps this winter and are either taking their sweet time recovering or are gone. Give them time before you replace. Cut out the dead and see what happens.

Mulching late is just fine. Several of my clients are feeling far behind their usual spring chores like mulching. You don’t want to mulch too early anyway and the mulch will look better further into the fall.

Boxwoods seemed to take a hit on their foliage (beyond leafminer and psyllid damage) from the cold as well. Let them put out their spring growth and harden off. Then give them a little shake and see how much dead foliage falls off before you prune it too hard.

These are the most common things I have noticed and heard from clients this spring so don’t worry if you are in the same spot. Our gardens/landscapes will always evolve with new beginnings and plants due to the constantly changing moods of the natural world


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