Why You Should Plant For Spring

payne_7-07_27plantforspring6Spring flowers have that spring-fresh texture and color guaranteed to shake winter off of you, and your spirit. No summer flowers have the blue of clear sky blue pansies, and blue lobelia.  Alyssum, the crisp white smell of spring, also comes in lavender, red violet, and purple.  Ornamental kales, cabbages, Angelina sedum and coral bells have robust texture and leaf color.  Lettuces, parsley, and gold oregano hint of the vegetable garden to come. Yellow and vanilla butterfly marguerites are quite cold tolerant, as is the chartreuse leaved Persian Queen geranium. Annual phlox performs beautifully, blooming on into the heat of the summer.  Violas come in all kinds of colors, and bloom profusely. Fresh cut pussy willow twigs, yellow twig dogwood, and artificial grassy stems provide scale and height.  Pots of hyacinth, daffodils, and tulips can also be popped into a pot for their duration.

plantforspring5Spring is a season like no other. Give some time to enjoying it. Spring pots are a perfect for a collection of lettuces that will spruce up your salads. A collection of spring pots also helps considerably to stave off the impulse to plant summer pots too early. Most summer annuals despise cold soil and cool temperatures.  For everything, the right season.  Plant your spring. 


What’s Precious

whatspreciousTools are useful.  This does not mean they are precious.  My landscape plans are a two-dimensional description of a sculpture which is to come.  They are not an end in themselves.  I go over them with my superintendent; we do a layout.  That plan usually ends up in a lunchbox, a back pocket, or after it is irreparably wet and mud smeared, in the trash.  They are a means by which to communicate.

whatsprecious2There are computer programs which help projects to get drawn quickly. I use them to draw very complicated structures. They are very useful in detailing changes to this and that-without having to redraw everything.  But I am most interested in the evidence of the human hand.  I draw by hand, as that drawing is part of a process which is distinctly my process. My clients find out that as I respect the evidence of my hand, I have the ability to respect theirs as well.

Still Sleeping

stillsleeping1stillsleeping2stillsleeping3Nothing in a northern landscape wants to come out of hibernation, and find itself face to face with a gardener, mucking about. Tromping on saturated soil drives the air out of it, and makes for footprint- shaped slabs difficult to break up later. Plant roots need air, and drainage, among other things-so keep off. Likewise, keep your fingers off, and your pruners and rake in the shed. Better yet, build a shed for your rake-it will keep you busy long enough for a proper day for gardening to finally arrive. Should someone else maintain your property for you, be sure they don’t come too early.  Nothing looks more forlorn than a garden bereft of all its natural winter coverage in an April snowstorm, windstorm, ice storm, or any of a thousand other kinds of storms common to transitional weather.  Wait; you will know when the light turns green.