Still Spring

June 13 2014 (3)As I am writing this, the temperature outside is 54 degrees.  This morning, I woke up to 49 degrees. Why do I think this is news fit to print? A 54 degree daytime temperature is a spring temperature.  Should you be thinking that summer has arrived in Michigan, I would ask you to think differently.  In my opinion, we are still in the spring season. Opinion aside, there is plenty to suggest that each of the four seasons lasts just about three months.  I rarely see any deviation from a spring season that spans late March and April, May, and most of June.  The temperature today reminds me that we are in the late stage of spring.  The beginning of summer, the summer solstice, arrives on June 21, still a week away. I have other signs that spring is still holding forth.  This April planting of mixed colors of nicotiana and violas at the entrance to our driveway is just about peaking.  It is astonishingly beautiful and lush.

June 13 2014 (6)Spring annual planted  in April grow and peak the middle of June.  I wonder what these early planted nicotiana will do, come summer.  How could they be any better?  It used to be that no one planted summer annuals before Memorial Day.  I see many people planting out annuals Mother’s Day weekend.  I do not plant any summer annuals on May 10.  Better that all of those tropical annuals have the shelter, sun and heat of a greenhouse in May.  Annual plants in my zone like warm soil, warm days, and warm nights.  Michigan weather is rarely able to deliver those conditions until the beginning of July.

June 13 2014 (9)My spring window boxes look great right now. Lovely and lush.  Pansies and violas like cool weather-spring weather.  Once the heat of our summer comes on, the pansies and violas will fade.  As of today, June 14, they are still getting the weather they need.

June 13 2014 (10) The sweet peas are coming into full bloom.  The plants themselves are prety wild, but the flowers are beautiful and fragrant.  Having never grown them before, I am happy for the cool weather that suits them.

June 13 2014 (12)If you did not plant your pots for spring, so be it.  Every gardener has a schedule and a mission all their own.  I would only point out, on this 55 degree day in June, that the summer season is yet to come.  I did get a few of my own pots planted.  I hope to have them done by June 21. I know they will take right off, given warm temperatures and warm soil.

June 13 2014 (15)The cool weather plant club is a big one, and includes rhubarb, pansies and parsley.

June 13 2014 (17)nasturtiums and bellis

June 13 2014 (7)We did plant the front of Detroit Garden Works for summer a few days ago.. No doubt we are anticipating the summer. We cut the dinner plate dahlias back by half.  It will take them the summer to get going.  They will be at their best in September and October.  I have not planted the roof boxes yet-it is still to cold for what I have in mind.

June June 9 n2014 (25)The early summer cannot hold a candle to the peak of the spring season.  Think of it.  The start of a season is the start.  The conclusion of the season can be glorious.  I call that the super nova stage.   This spring container designed and planted by Rob-exquisite today. The  spring gardening season lasts every bit of three months.  Into late June.  Just saying.




  1. Always find inspiration and excitement in this blog.

    May I ask, what is giving the container height in the last photo?


  2. These spring boxes are all so gorgeous — a balm to my southwest soul especially since every day now averages a hot and dusty hundred degrees. I especially love all the purples at the front of Detroit Garden Works. And Rob’s box is just bursting with energy — he did a great job. These photos transport me to a cooler place in my head.

  3. What is the tall plant in Rob’s spring container? It is striking in combination with the other material. Am I seeing strawberries in there too?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Sally, Lavender “Platinum Blonde”, alyssum, and strawberries. I think the planting is gorgeous. The lavender should be coming in to bloom any time now. Deborah

  4. Cheryl Ellenburg says

    The nicotiana is breath taking. What type is it? Also, do you spread the seed in a big container that you plan to use or replant.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Cheryl, this is nicotiana alata in three colors. I planted plants, not seeds. Thanks, Deborah

  5. i cannot wait to see what you do to the roof boxes at your shop! detroit garden works always looks like a magical oasis.

  6. I am usually not one to get too covetous….(yeah, right!) Well….I covet that nicotiana alata pot at the drive entrance at intensely as I have ever coveted anything. Oh…the glory of it all. So deeply beautiful…and luscious. Thank you.

  7. erin bailey says

    Love these! But I am jealous of your cool temps and that you get 3 mos. of each season. We seems to struggle from winter to summer with a few nice spring and autumn days only each year. And this week is high 80-low 90’s with high humidity something I used to expect in August. I miss the effects of the Great Lakes on the climate! I am happy for your sweet peas, also.

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