Gardening season begins…sort of

Glorious day! The sun was shining warmly, bright blue skies, so what’s a girl to do but drag take her sons with her to the garden center to see what’s what! I know, I know, it’s early yet, but my whole gardening persona was formed in Texas, where the gardening season begins in February and if you don’t have everything planted by April, well, you might as well not bother.

But this isn’t Texas.

Since I don’t know one garden center from another up here, I decided it’s time for a little reconnaissance. We checked out Stillman’s Greenhouse and Garden Center, and I was so pleased to see the greenhouses full and open and lots of lovely green bits growing. I had a chat with one of their staff members, who gave me the rundown on their schedule for hardening off the plants in the greenhouse. Seems I’m waaaaaay too early for what I want to plant. I was shocked to learn that the average date of the last frost around here is May 20th. Good golly, in Texas I’d be weakened by the heat and hugging the air conditioner by then!

But I couldn’t let such a beautiful day go by without getting my hands dirty. So, I got out the garden hose and a few tools and laid out the edging of the new perennial garden I want to plant out front. First, the Undergardener shows his stuff.

He was so pleased to have lots and lots of space for digging. I’m pleased that he’ll help me turn the soil!

I decided to go for gentle curves in the front, rather than anything terribly dramatic. I want the drama to come from the color and texture of the plantings. So, here is a snapshot of the basic line of the front.

Fortunately for me, there is very little turf to lift. As you can see, most of the new bed is just dirt, because it is where the old shrubbery was. Ah, but there’s the rub. Very little turf to lift—but oh-so-many roots to dig up and work around. Ugh.

Well, it’s not as though I can plant anything really soon. Might as well get out my shovel (and my pick-axe!)

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