13 April 2008

Spring Tips and Best Plants from the Experts

Lantanas have had a place in my garden for decades. This pink and yellow one has long been a favorite. New varieties have variegated leaves.



For variety, here are some
Spring Gardening Tips from White Flower Farm (used with permission)
1) Do prune roses! Remove blackened and weak stems. Don't prune too hard; leave healthy canes of floribundas and hybrid teas at least one foot above the ground.
2) Do prune Wisterias before they leaf out to promote flowering.
3) Do remove old foliage around the new growth of perennials. Keep mulch several inches away from the stems. This will help prevent disease or rotting.
4) Do plan to grow tomatoes in containers this year. It's easy, fun, and you'll get great tomatoes. Try 'Celebrity' tomato, which grows well in containers.
5) Do plant Geranium 'Rozanne', the 2008 Perennial Plant of the Year.
DO NOT'S: 1) Don't use harsh chemicals on your lawn or gardens this year. It doesn't take any longer to use organic products.
2) Don't plant shrubs too close to your home's foundation -- read plant labels and allow for growth.
3) Don't miss out on time-saving, pre-planned gardens -- order online. The design and selection are done for you.
4) Don't forget to use compost and organic mulches. They re-use natural materials and are safer for the living organisms in your garden -- including you!
5) Don't use full-strength liquid fertilizers every time you water annuals -- you will burn the roots of your plants -- less is more!

And another great set of suggestions in my inbox this windy Sunday are from Graham Rice at
Transatlantic Plantsman .
Rice listed his top ten perennials. Click on the link for full descriptions but the thumbnails are:

Cenolophium denudatum - resembles a perennial version of Bishop's weed (Ammi majus)
Cortaderia selloana 'Evita'
Echinacea purpurea 'Green Envy'
Eryngium planum 'Jade Frost'
Euphorbia 'Helena's Blush'
Geranium pratense 'Laura'
Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Ivory Prince'
Heuchera 'Rave On'
Iris "Brown Lasso'
Sedum 'Marchant's Best Red;

OK, now, how many of them do you know and have ordered? Or, how many of them are you going to look for? I mail-ordered one of them and it arrived already. I can't wait for it to come out of dormancy so I can photograph it for you.

The Weather Service predicts much better gardening weather ahead: Mon 60/37, Tuesday 68/50, Wed 72/56, Thurs showers 70/52, Fri 69/49, Sat 75/59, Sun 79.

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