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Garden Bliss & Blunder, Issue #021
March 03, 2023
Although this is my March newsletter,
it will also be my birth month - which for me,
is the beginning of my year
… but in reality, it is actually the end of February
as I write
and my garden in zone 5
is covered with lots of snow
and last week it looked like this:
“Music comes from an icicle
as it melts,
to live again
as spring water.”
In case you find winter just too long,
consider one of my favourite quotes:
“If thou of fortune be bereft,
and in thy store there be but left two loaves,
and with the dole,
buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.”
― John Greenleaf Whittier
Photo by my friend: Ron Sheldirck, Toronto
SPRING MARCHES IN...
...on pussy-toes and willows
in spite of our snow and ice,
many gardeners in warmer spots
are seeing some early spring flowers….
Coming in many colours from soft creams
and whites to pinks and deep rose.
Inspired by a photo of Mark Leighty's Hellebore
- a GardenComm fellow member
who showed his Hellebores
at the recent Northwest Flower Show...
Look here for more on how to grow Hellebores.
My friend, Helen recently had a bad spill on the ice -
and missing a dreamed about trip.
She is positive and always makes the best of things,
so when this little blossom showed its face
in the shelter of a rock the day after her surgery
she shared it.
Hope does Spring eternal…
I loved the photo and thought this sketch might cheer her up…
she sent a photo of another one
maybe in the same spot…
and I sketched that too…
thank you Helen.
A LITTLE MADNESS...
“A little madness in the Spring
is wholesome even for a King.”
If you are like me, I am itching to get into the garden.
The bunnies have chewed my roses,
the grasses are tangled
and the ice and snow are making me crazy.
Pretty or not, I find myself scribbling mad notes…
what I did, what I didn’t do, what I want to do…
Those notes are keeping me
from digging through the snow -
but I know when it is gone,
I will be still a bit ‘mad’
wanting things to show themselves.
But here are some things you shouldn’t do:
- walk on your garden….
moisture softens the soil and compacts it when you tread on it
…. but there are some things you do need to do before then.
It's a GOOD Time to...
Clean and sharpen tools….
I confess mine are still in their bins downstairs…
but once I t get them ready,
it will be time to start pruning my apple trees
but NOT roses yet
and look here for more on tools:
But NOT a good time to...
... prune your ROSES yet....
Wait till the Forsythia blooms or the nights are 10C or 50F consistently.
Pruning too soon can weaken roses and some other plants.
... be patient and wait for your garden to wake up.
Still leave hollow stems standing
for those beneficial insects who are still sleeping...
Here are some notes on when to prune roses..
WHEN THE SNOW IS GONE...
Lay down a nice thick layer of compost
and let the spring rains wash
the nutrients down into the soil
…. keeps little weed seedlings from sprouting too.
Call a local tree arborist and order wood chips.
You will need to designate a spot
and have a tarp ready to cover them
… think about the weather,
your time, how much there will be
and when you will have time to spread them…
. they will dump a huge pile
but you will need to do some planning.
see the link below to the Garden Professors site and search for
Wonderful Wood Chips
And, if you are still planning your garden-
If you only add 5% NATIVE PLANTS
you will add 75% of A CATERPILLAR'S FOOD NEEDS
It takes 6,000 -9,000 caterpillars
for a CHICKADEE to raise only ONE CLUTCH of baby birds
This is a good time to plan ahead…
. if you have some ideas, think carefully….
about your energy and time
… oh, and budget of course.
It is hard sometimes to decide ahead of time
if you need a landscaper or a gardener.
Look here for how to make that decision…
And a BONUS:…
I have a pdf of all the questions you need answers for
before deciding anything
… if you would like a copy
- it’s free
- but just for the next 7 days. -
Send me a note and I will happily forward it to you.
MAKE NOTES... lots of notes
You may never look at them again,
but it might get your mojo going
and at least let the winter seem less daunting.
I know it is hard to find garden magazines,
but most of what you need is available on line.
But if you have a question
you cannot find the answer to, let me know…
I know people who are smarter and wiser than I
who have those answers….
"There is no gardening without humility.
Nature is constantly sending
even its oldest scholars
to the bottom of the class
for some egregious blunder."
A "MUST READ" BOOK...
“Finding the Mother Tree”
- Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest
This book made me rethink
so many things about lif
and trees and nature
and how we are all connected…
a MUST read if you garden.
“Like Charles Darwin’s findings,
Simard’s results are so revolutionary
that they have quickly worked their way
into social theory, urban planning,
culture and art.”
The Washington Post
So, UNTIL NEXT TIME....
Spring will come
and we will be sitting on the deck soon
but we may need sweaters,
and cuddles for a bit..
"Some of us don’t want to be tough alpha leaders.
Some of us just want to write
and wander the garden
and breathe in the sky
and nourish and nurture and quietly create
new pathways and live out
lives as our art.
To know the earth as poetry."
My Little Bird Book
When I sell a copy of my book
(The Little Bird Who Fell From the Sky)
for a child who attends a school,
I donate one to their school library.
If you wish to purchase one with another for a school,
please send a note to:
They are now in schools in Ontario, Labrador, New Brunswick,
Latvia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Quebec, BC,
Arizona, California, Florida, the UK,
Massachusetts, Tennessee, Missouri,
France, and Nicaragua
You can order here: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish, also order a print of Little Bird for your Little one...
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