I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.
I am the lover's gift; I am the wedding wreath;
I am the memory of a moment of happiness;
I am the last gift of the living to the dead;
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.
But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn.
Song Of The Flower Xxiii
We have flowers on the brain with Mother's Day quickly approaching. We are in the business of flowers this week, and a delightful and beautiful business it is!
When you drop in, look for some interesting new annuals that are bred for difficult conditions and changing climates. There is more emphasis on annuals and perennials that attract pollinators, and more interest in natives and in native cultivars. If you are a lifelong flower lover, or are just learning about all the different and amazing ways that flowers express themselves, this looks like a good year for you.
The store is filled with hanging baskets and flowers of every color, height, size and texture. Come by and soak it in, we can help you sort through the floriferous number of choices.
Here's a quick rundown of other excellent Mother's Day ideas:
Legacy Tools - She will love you forever if you spring for Felco pruners, the sharpest of the sharp.
Best for Birding - There are some beautiful feeders, nests and birdbaths, gifts that give the promise of backyard wildlife.
Books for information and inspiration - check out our interesting offerings.
Decor galore - We have so many unique, handmade and lovely gifts, garden and household items, it's impossible to list them here, stroll around for ideas.
Expert Advice - How about a gift card in any denomination? At $65 an hour, Mom can use it to get a garden consultation from one of our resident experts. She could also use it to buy plants for pollinators, a rainbarrel, a composter, a trellis, a gnome....etc.
Cut flowers - A giant order coming this afternoon! You're allowed to buy for yourself, too.
And now, what to do in your garden?
MAY! The explosion of plants and color is everywhere. This is the month when nearly anything goes, when you may need to just pick whatever chore you can handle in the timeframe available.
Despair not - you are not too late to plant veggies! Most years, we are just getting the brassica, lettuces and other cool weather veggies in, and turning toward the annual beds and baskets. The weather hints can be a little tricky to read this time of year, and when we are enveloped in a sunny 75 degree day in May, how can we imagine anything else? Well, if you turn the mind back to years past, you will concede that 55 is a likely high temp in the near future. It is perfectly acceptable if you are still cleaning up leaves and weeding. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash and cucumbers are planted in the latter half of May, so worry not. Finish the beets, onions and kale, and enjoy the flowers.
For a refresher course in all things TOMATO, refer to this newsletter from the old days, where we delve deep into the subject of planting and growing.
So, in the spirit of just doing what you can, when you can: if you have not added organic material to your veggie bed, go ahead and spread a layer of (fully composted) compost or manure. If you have a fair amount of garden, most of the staff at the store like Happy Frog soil conditioner, but any high quality compost will do. Rake it in, but no tilling necessary on an established raised bed or vegetable garden. No garden yet? Come on in and we'll help you figure out how to get started.
You can put in lettuce, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, collards and onion starts in if you haven't already. Direct sowing carrot seeds and spinach seeds is still ok at this early date, and in a couple of weeks direct sow beans and squash. If you purchased basil, tomatoes or peppers, keep them watered and watch the temperatures if you've already planted. You may need to protect them. If you haven't planted, bring them into a protected garage or porch during the colder nights ahead.
Perennial gardens - I love this time of year, when you see the plants unfurling. You may have lost some things over the winter, but you may also have gained a few! If you are finding that you have plants that have seeded some babies or you have hosta that are bigger than space allows, you can carefully divide and move them. Divide the bulbs and spring bloomers like peonies, tulips, iris after they bloom and the foliage dies back, in the late summer and fall. But your later bloomers, like rudbeckia, coneflower, asters, etc. can be lifted (the parent plant), divided and replanted. You'll want the plant to focus on root growth after you divide it, so no division of plants when they are flowering.
Annuals! Do it up. This is the month for annuals in window boxes, containers, and in the ground. Try a six pack of "border gems", plants that look like nothing in their packs right now but are glorious in a mass planting in your landscape. We love tall snapdragons, four o'clocks, big headed marigolds, zinnia, and unusual ones like euphorbia marginata, talinum, torenia, and lisianthus.
When all else fails, just sit, weed, and be mindful. You'll be surprised what you see.
Have a great week, hope to see you!