It is inevitable that at least once each year I will discuss gardens and flowers. So for all you indoor people, be forewarned – worms ahead. Worms are good. Actually a lot of things are good in their right places. For example, worms are good in the garden but not as good in my refrigerator. In a way: The worms do keep longer in the fridge, and they’ll wake up when they warm up, in time to be put on a hook and eaten by a fish. But I really don’t care for when they escape the container inside my fridge. Snakes are also good in their ecosystem. They eat an abundance of bad bugs and mice. This keeps the population of those things in check. But when they get in a house and multiply, nobody is happy.
The trick in the flower garden, is to pull out the actual weeds, but to leave those tiny seedlings you want, that have grown from last year’s flowers. This is why I can’t just assign someone else to go out to do it unless I am going too. Not that I would. Just saying.
It is also time to bring all overwintered plants outside with the understanding that they can come back in if it freezes. This gives more space in the living room to reorganize and wash the floor and windows. All projects lead to more projects. There are also plants that want to be repotted, or divided. I prefer doing this in the fall but some won’t wait. It’s nice when it isn’t terribly windy, but here in Southern MN, spring is wind. You just have to find a secluded spot so the dirt doesn’t blow away while you’re working on it.
If you haven’t gotten out to trim vines before now, it is probably too late to benefit the plant, but you can still do it if you’re willing to sacrifice future flowers. Roses that are runaway, can be left to stab you all summer, or you can trim them even though they clearly have leaves and possibly buds already. It’s a difficult thing but experience will tell you it may be better to just clip them. Had the dead vines from last year been trimmed off of the clematis, it would have sent the energy into new ones this year. But the old ones will suffice and they’ll all look sort of eclectic out there. In other words: things don’t have to be perfect, to be wonderful. So in your “survival of the fittest gardens”, don’t worry too much, just do what you can. The plants will take care of themselves, or they’ll die. Either one. But you can look at it and decide what to do each year and that is fun.
I have an older garden, that has taken on many forms and border changes through the years. It looks like I don’t have a clue, right now. But soon it will look like it was all planned out to every detail, and I’m always happy with it. I have another garden that has also gone through forms and border changes and it never quite is what I want. It’s newer, so that may be partly why, but I also haven’t fallen in love with it and involved my children in its photography over the years. It may be those things, but I just don’t know. It’s hard to feel motivated about this garden, and it usually looks scruffy. If you judge me by one, you’ll feel one way about me. If you judge me by the other, you’ll feel another way about me. My recommendation is to not judge me by either. It’s easier for you.
“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils…”