Confessions of a Hose Dragger …

April 2021

Confessions of a Hose Dragger…

Groan…. Last month, perhaps I should have been more “ready, willing and able” last to begin my outside spring gardening chores… unfortunately, due to this slacker attitude, I have been struggling to keep up with the season.  Fortunately, though, I have been highly motivated by all the goings on in the beds… spring has arrived and it’s everywhere!  Crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, species tulip, spears of peony’s, tiny leaves, swelling buds, glorious tiny beginnings are everywhere… it’s go time!   As I go about the important business of spring cleanup, my style of gardening tends to lean towards the penitent type.  I can often be found on my knees, crawling from bed to bed carefully picking out dried up leaves left over from the glory days of last fall.  Myopically I survey under and around the plants that inhabit my world, checking to see that all is well…  and most of my little darlings are doing quite nicely… but regrettably, Gary the dwarf Ginko is not.  You see, Ginko’s can be quite sensitive – not to the cold, but to our wild and unpredictable temperature swings… think last fall… think of the fall two years ago…  Experts were consulted and the good news is that half of Gary may still be alive… may… still… be… alive… but unfortunately, Gary found himself planted in a prime “Look at me I’m special!” location and is no longer worthy… he will need to be transplanted… tomorrow.  He will be gently transported to a recovery area to join other almost dead plants that I cannot yet bear to part with.

What I have not slacked off on this year, (probably someone should have made an attempt to restrain me, because I sure didn’t), is seed starting.  I began in late January with a few gateway seedlings, but it has now culminated to over 50 different varieties.  There are flats in the basement under grow lights, flats in the sunroom, flats of seedlings in my dreams and flats of seedlings in my worst nightmares.  Tomatoes, peppers, kale, cosmos, petunias, poppy’s, lions’ tails, nasturtiums, coleus… and scarily bunches more… if I lose my numbered list and plant labels, chaos will ensue!  Six more weeks of fretting, watering, fertilizing and general mayhem until my little sweeties are relegated to the great outdoors to harden off…  will they make it… will I?

And as a nod to that special holiday, Arbor Day, I came across an interesting new variety of tree at Eaton Grove Nursery – Emerald Spire Flowering Crabapple.  This little tree is stout and sturdy and after all the branch breakage that occurred a few weeks ago this is a plus.  The size is perfect for small gardens – height is 20 feet with a spread of only 6 feet… how adorable is that?!

With at hardiness zone of 2a, this tree should do well in our area.  While professionals describe this tree as having a “Beautiful columnar habit, covered in stunning fuchsia and white spring blossoms”, I think it looks like a cute little monster.

This tree also has good disease resistance, is highly tolerant of urban pollution, has showy green pomes plus outstanding gold color in the fall… what’s not to love!?   And the last great thing about this little tree is that many local garden centers will have this tree available… to you… right now… so, go… go… go… celebrate the wonder that is Arbor Day… find a tree you love and plant it!