Monday, May 4, 2015

A Weekend of Gardening

This weekend we enjoyed glorious weather with sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70s.  I spent most of Saturday and Sunday taking advantage of the weather and beginning work on my flower beds in earnest.  By late Sunday afternoon my muscles were aching from the hours of work.  It is only the beginning.  Every sunny day in May, and on into June I will be outside.  I have only cleaned out and prepared the beds in my front yard; I haven't touched the flower gardens in the back.  It is still to early to plant annuals since a killing frost is still a danger until late May.

The creeping phlox has begun to bloom.
The severe winter has taken its toll.  My rose bushes are mostly dead wood.  New growth has started to appear on some of them, but I fear that some of the bushes did not survive the winter.
The deer population is a major problem for gardeners here.  Our gardens are a tempting salad bar for the herds of deer that pass through our yards each night.  This spring, after such a harsh winter, they seem to be especially hungry and have been chewing voraciously on the young growth.  I have a lot of hostas in my flower beds.  The hostas are a favorite of the deer.  Usually, however, the plants have a chance leaf out before the deer start nibbling, and I have a chance to spray repellent on the plants before they inflict much damage.  This year however they are chomping off the young sprouts.  They have also been eating the leaves of my day lilies.  As I finish each flower bed, I have been liberally spraying everything with deer repellent.  Hopefully it will all grow back.
During the last two winters, the deer have also been eating something that they have never bothered before... the large taxus bushes at the side of my house.  Even though the bushes are still alive, the deer have chewed so much of the green needles off of the sides of the shrubs that I fear that they will never look nice again (especially if they continue nibbling every winter).  So yesterday I tackled tearing out one of the bushes.  I got it chopped down to the base, but I still have the even more difficult task of digging out by the roots what is left.  I am thinking about planting a lilac bush in its place.
Today I have to mow the lawn before rain comes through later this afternoon.  The rain is supposed to continue tomorrow.  So my muscles will have a day of rest.

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