Monday, March 31, 2008

Almost April!

Have you noticed all the signs of life in your garden?

I'm surprised as I walk around the yard at how much is showing already. Although we had lots of ice, overall, temperatures this winter were not too bad. "We didn't have extended periods of cold weather. I guess that's the reason all my rosemary plants survived. Most have die-back at the tips, but the plants survived.

I had fresh parsley and cutting celery throughout the winter. There was always fresh, green foliage underneath the old. I see tiny, curled leaves of sorrel waiting to unfurl. I've had fresh, young chives for several weeks.

I've spotted tiny tips of tarragon poking through the soil. Burnet and Clary sage are fresh and green, and the chamomile foliage never died off this winter. Stepping on it releases that delicious apple fragrance.

The knot garden looks good already. The plants in it - germander, lavender and santolina do not die back in fall, but often suffer die-back or freeze-out in very bad winters. Even the thyme walk is perking up early, although a lot of the green is weeds which never died out.

If you didn't clean up dead foliage last fall, there's a good job to start on some of these nice days. I know there's new foliage underneath the old on my catmint. Even cutting back the old is a fragrant job. Also, cut back butterfly bushes hard between mid-March and mid-April. They will push out new foliage which is sturdy, avoiding the top-heavy, lanky branches which are found on untrimmed bushes.

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