BY GLADYS JEURINK
Most of the
time I think of spring as my favorite season….the beginning of
everything. This one has
had its problems with plants starting early and then getting frozen. But
not every thing has been bad. The COTTONWOOD
that turns the neighborhood white lost all of its cotton buds.
little COFFEE TREE (Coffea
arabica) that is between 2 ½ and 3 feet tall is outside on the east
side of the house and decided it was old enough to bloom.
Scale decided it was good food so I have sprayed it with alcohol
several times and now I hope my good insects will finish cleaning it up.
The blooms appeared after a number of leaves suddenly dropped off
and come directly off the branches. They are shiny white to be followed
(I hope) with red berries. With
luck this summer I should get at least one cup of coffee.
Outside, the fringe
tree (Chionanthus virginicus) is the last tree to leaf out and blooms come
first. But this lateness
saved all its blooms which do look like fringes that hang down in
clusters. It is solid white now and only about five feet tall and about
as wide. It tends to prefer being a shrub as it will never get over 25
feet tall but it is a slow grower.
In one place I found it called “Old Mans Beard”. The leaves
turn yellow in the fall.
Then there is
the little fig tree that has figs
coming directly off its branches in spring. It is not hardy here, but after it frosts I can put it in the
garage with the Norfolk Island Pine, the Bougainvillea and the Angel
Trumpets. This tree is small because it is my second one. The
first one got too large to move around so I had to let it freeze.
(Winter is not my favorite
time.) For the first time this year I have blueberries growing in large
pots in acid soil. The will have to come in as they would be hardy in
the ground but probably not in pots.
The pots I
emptied last fall so they couldn’t freeze and break, are all back in
place and filled with potting soil and compost now.
What fun to plant them with something I have never had before, a
new combination of plants, or a way to keep rabbits from reaching and
chewing. There are so many
plants that droop naturally, such as BACOPA,
and TRAILING VERBENEA. There
are silver leaved plants called “RED
THREADS” and look very nice in my blue pot. Did you see the tall,
feathery ELEGANT FEATHERS (Eupatorium capillifolium) in the sunken garden last summer that is
tall, very skinny and can grow between 4feet and 7 feet? I found one for
my big red pot along with ANGELONIA
(purple and pink) with a drooping CANDY
were injured very much by the cold spell but CROCUS
had bloomed earlier so were not injured. New bulbs for me this year
are the tall fritellaria.
They are about 2 feet tall and bloomed just late enough for me to see
their very dramatic red and yellow blooms.
Books tell me that diggers like squirrels will not bother a bed
they are in because they can not stand the smell. Most of the JONQUILS did okay but not as many blooms as other years.
I can not blame this on the freeze as they have become too
crowded over the years. This means I need to watch when the foliage
turns yellow and dig them. Easiest thing is to plant them at once but
they could wait in a mesh bag until fall.
They will probably need at least as much room as before and a new
territory so I can dig lots of compost into their old bed.
NINEBARK (Physocarpus cultivar)
shrub is big enough (3 years) to bloom well.
With its dark greenish purple leaves in the back of white
clusters of blooms it is very handsome. It likes slightly acidic soil,
will be okay in light shade, and grows to ten feet high and 10 feet
wide. There is another one with yellowish foliage, and a shorter one, SUMMER
WINE, that only gets 5 feet tall and about 6 feet wide.
PLANTS (Dictamus fraxinella)
are in bloom with pinkish white flowers and darker veins and are about 2
feet tall. Sometimes they
are called “Burning Bush” or “Ditany” because they can give off
a gas on a hot day that can be lighted. It likes a drier area such as in
the Denver, Colorado, xeriscape garden. They will do well in almost any
desert garden. I have had
trouble getting them started so put plants in different areas until they
seem to be happy. Usually I
have them 2 or 3 years before they consider blooming. They are worth the
UPDATE!!! My new neighbor dog Hank had his haircut and he is up to
nine pounds now. The world
was made for him and so were all the people.
BY GEORGE EDGAR
NUTSEDGE is usually called “Nutgrass” by most people. It is not
a grass but a sedge and that is why most herbicides do not do a very
good job getting rid of it. The difference between a sedge and a grass
is technical but does make a difference in getting it out of your lawn,
vegetable garden, or flower bed.
called “Sedge Hammer” is the most effective in controlling Nutsedge.
(Last year is was packaged and sold as “Manage”.) It is somewhat
pricey but if applied according to label directions and before the
longest day of the year (about June 21st) it will kill the
nutlet in the ground. There are other products labeled for Nutsedge such
as Basagran, and MSMA (Monosodium acid methanearsonate), but they are
not as effective in killing the nutlet.
you apply anything that is labeled for “Nutgrass” or Nutsedge”,
including “Sedge Hammer”, after the 21st of June you may
burn off the top but it does not kill the nutlet (which is below the
surface) and therefore the plant will return next spring. You can also
pull the Nutsedge before the 21st of June (approximately) to
get rid of it. After that date, when you pull it, you only aggravate the
nutlet and cause it to divide so next year you will have many plants.
Also make sure you do not let the plant go to seed.
THE FOLLOWING E-MAIL CAME THIS
AFTERNOON FROM ROCH TO CORRECT SOME
IT IS VERY NICE HAVING KNOWLEDGEABLE FRIENDS WHO HELP YOU OUT. THANKS ROCH!!!