Monday, April 20, 2009

Thinking About Gardening

What a wonderful weekend! The weather was warm and dry and it was so tempting to go outside and start gardening. But wait, it is still only mid-April and there are lots of frosty nights and mornings remaining before the tender annuals and vegetables are ready to be planted. I have discovered, however, that this doesn't stop people from getting out into the garden once we have a few warm, sunny days. My neighbors have been mowing and raking and turning over their garden soil and I have recently watched loads of mulch and top soil being delivered to houses on my road.

The local garden centers were jammed on Saturday. I finally gave into the call of the glorious weather and visited several local nurseries and garden stores. As tempting as the lovely hanging baskets and colorful annuals were, I left them at the store (for now). It is just too early in the season, but there were lots of customers who apparently disagreed with me. I left the store(s) with an assortment of containers and flower pots, some potting soil and, yes, a house plant. I admit that I needed a nice, new green plant, even if it will have to remain inside the house along with my voracious, plant-eating cats. I also picked up some hardy pansies in assorted colors. A little frost on their petals does not bother them. They also provide a nice easy lunch for the local wildlife...pansies are just bunny and deer candy at my house.

I started some annual garden chores by cleaning the driveway drains (one of my least favorite jobs) and clipping the dead blades from several of the large ornamental grasses in my yard. I don't clip them in the fall because I love how they look and sound in the wind and the snow. They provide a little interest and texture to the landscape throughout the winter.

I'm still feeding the birds (and squirrels, by default). My feeder has been overrun with birds this winter and spring. There was even a wild turkey in the yard last week, pecking at the seed that had scattered on the ground from the feeder. Every morning I put out only enough black oil sunflower seed for the birds and critters to finish off before dark. This way I avoid problems with our local bear who likes to eat bird feeders as well as bird seed.

Here's a list of some gardening titles at the Ligonier Valley Library that you might enjoy reading while waiting for the weather to warm up: Happy Gardening and Think Spring!!!

Step-By-Step Ulitimate Yard and Garden (635.9 STE)

The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: by Barbara Pleasant (631.8 PLE)

1,000 Garden Ideas
by Stafford Cliff (712. 6 CLI)

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