Well you might ask that since I have not posted a new blog in quite some time. I wish I could say that I have been binge watching Gardener’s World on BBC and eating bon bons. First, I have been in a play/musical for charity. Appropriately, I played Mother Earth. Secondly, I have been working to restore and revive my freeze damaged gardens that have sprouted way too soon. And last but hardly least, I have had a book printed and have been busily delivering copies. What is the title? Lowcountry Gardening for Newcomers: How to Succeed as a Comya Gardener. I self published so I could write exactly what I wanted without a state textbook adoption committee telling me what to write. I hate it when history is changed to suit a particular mindset. Well, this book is hardly controversial unless you are a weed or a plant eating deer.
Where do you get this book? So far, it is carried at LowCo Gardeners in Port Royal. I am working on getting it to Hilton Head and other areas.
Now to the subject at hand: What am I doing in my garden? I was patient although I really wanted to hack my Bottlebrushes down. They are slowly returning. The recent warm weather has things sprouting and blooming very early. There is Wisteria blooming and it is early March – way way too early. It is kind of scary in a way. I said that the hard freeze in December would not kill most things and even my Meyer Lemon has blossom buds and new leaves. There were a few sad losses. My Hamelia patens or Mexican firebush is gone. I always take a chance with it anyway.
I lost some succulents which can happen. They have all been replaced. My Salvia are all coming back and they are really a hardy annual (or tender perennial?) Black-eyed Susan have reseeded and are coming up in random locations. My roses are all in bloom and this is the earliest ever.
What do I have to most in my garden? Thousands, maybe millions of baby pine trees. I have never seen so many in my life. I could reforest the entire European continent. I have pulled some out, but think I will smother them with mulch. And lots of little oak trees thanks to those fluffy tailed garden rats burying them. I also think that it will be bumper weed year.
Some plants that are really spectacular this year are shrubs. My “Bridal Veil “spirea (Spiraea prunifolia) is a mass of tiny white flowers. My native Azalea (Rhododendron canescens) is also in full bloom. Most azaleas are native to Asia.
The first Asian azalea that is so common in South Carolina was brought to this country by Joseph Drayton to Magnolia Plantation outside of Charleston. Our native variety can be found in the woods all along the southern east coast and is commonly called the “Piedmont azalea.”
I had some great daffodils this year. I bought the southern collection from John Scheepers last fall, put them in the fridge for three months and then planted them in early January. I also planted iris. I love them, but wish that the blooms lasted longer.
Much to my surprise, my Hydrangeas look very healthy even one that I propagated last fall from a cutting. Now is a great time to try to propagate plants from cuttings. The hormone level is high in the stems so they tend to root more readily.
Wait to plant seeds until the end of March. I planted some directly into the ground and I was pushing the season a bit too much. Not one little seedling appeared. My bad. I have been telling everyone to be patient and I didn’t follow my own advice.
We are due for a cold snap and that could slow things down a bit. I just want the pollen out of the air.
Get out and enjoy the cool weather before our heat will hit soon enough. It is a great time to do hardscape projects, plant shrubs, and pull out those baby pine trees. I plan on doing quite a bit of mulching over the next few weeks.
A blog evaluation site named the Comya Gardener as one of the top 30 gardening blogs in the south so someone must be reading it. I promise to be a more faithful blogger. I have a lot to live up to.