Marty's Garden, late April, 2018


What a difference a day, nay, a week to ten days makes. We went from cold and gloomy to a bit warmer with sunshine and my garden shows it. The noses of the hostas are reappearing, the snowflakes are up and out in full view and the yellow magnolia bloomed; short but magnificently. Despite my worst fears even the Cercis Canadensis, or Canadian redbud, bloomed. The birds may have rubbed off the blossom on the lower branches, but the upper branches were a sight to behold.


As I am starting to make the rounds again at the local nurseries I suddenly find myself enchanted by a new color; yellow. I have never been a fan of yellow, other than maybe for daffodils in early spring. I once put in a small yellow garden in honor of my mother who absolutely loved any yellow flower, but my taste ran from pink to blue. However, in this new garden I have introduced shrubs which either bloom in yellow (witch hazel and forsythia) or are green and yellow colored year-round (Hinoki Cypress and Goldthread Cypress). And then there is my ‘Rising Sun’ Cercis Canadensis which has yellow/orange/green leaves. Suddenly yellow seems to be everywhere and I like it! The other day I picked up multiple 12-packs of buttery yellow snapdragons and then went back for more. I lined the path in the butterfly garden with them and plan on using the remainder along the bed next to the driveway which is also home to ‘big smile’ daylily with its lemon-yellow flowers. I sowed seeds for creeping zinnia (which bloom in yellow) and with some luck, in the same beds, I will have seedlings from last year’s (yellow) Melampodium.


In a few more days I can finally bring out the coleus I have been growing in the basement for months now. The larger varieties are already over a foot tall and will go in the backyard slightly behind and in between the shrubs. The smaller varieties will be dotted around the garden in the various beds. Next week should bring a flurry of activity to put them all in the ground.


Meanwhile, The Spouse and I have been busy making lawn disappear. The corner of the front yard where I planted shrubs last fall has been “papered over” (with heavy duty contractors’ paper) and we put down several inches of mulch on top. Now all I have to do is find outdoor furniture and we will have a cozy new sitting area. It will give me an opportunity to sit down with neighbors when they catch me as I am working out front. Besides, one can never have enough spaces to sit in the garden, if only for a different view!


I am anxiously awaiting delivery of plants, ordered many months ago. One supposedly is already on its way; the Fed-Ex website shows the labels were printed but stubbornly refuses to tell me where the package is. Please don’t be lost in transit! I drooled over the pictures of the plants as I was picking them out of the catalog; I don’t want to wait another year for delivery.


And so, this spring I mulch with the assistance of the under-gardener, acclimatize seedlings and plants grown in the basement to their new homes outdoor, dig holes for plants bought or prepare beds for seeding. There is so much to do as the weather turns better and I finally find myself in my element again; dirt under my fingernails, a sun-kissed face and the occasional ache from this labor of love, my favorite kind of exercise.