Slow Spring

Sooner or later the sun will come out and stay for a while, but it seems like every day there is maybe an hour when it is not gray, overcast, and in many cases sprinkling. It is warmer, so that’s a plus.

There is also some color popping out in the garden, and I’m appreciating each bloom.

I was grateful for the weather this past weekend. Saturday morning, I worked in the sun at our MG Native Garden and got quite a bit done stripping some sod, moving a rock path, and spreading top soil in preparation for planting a butterfly garden on Thursday.

Yesterday, we had our annual plant sale, and it only sprinkled for about 20 minutes. Thank you, Mother Nature. We started with almost 1,000 plants at 9 a.m., and before noon we were almost sold out. We’ve never sold that many in such a short time. I guess our publicity was better this year. The amount of work required to set up a sale in a parking lot including tents, tables, and transport and arrange that many plants is a big project. I’m glad we only attempt it once a year.

There is an interesting phenomenon happening between this past winter and the unseasonably wet, cold spring. There is a lot of damage to plants and lawns. My hibiscus and three butterfly bushes are dead. The hibiscus I can understand, but normally you can’t kill a butterfly bush even if you want to.

Yesterday, I talked to a couple of people with severe rhododendron damage, numerous folks with large swaths of dead lawn from road salt runoff, plants eaten down to the ground by deer that have never touched them before, and even a couple who said beetles have come out of the ground to devour their blueberry bushes. It’s been a tough year so far for gardening enthusiasts.

Remember those 20+ dogwoods I’ve been nurturing since last year? The roots are growing out of the bottom of the pots, the bark is green, but not one leaf. I couldn’t take them to the sale because they look like dead sticks. Gardening as a hobby is never dull, and you are always provided with an opportunity to learn something new.

I’ve got a couple of plants to get into containers and in the ground this morning because it’s going to rain this afternoon, but after that I’m going to find an indoor project to work on because I’m tired.

Have you had any strange happenings in your outdoor landscape this year that you haven’t seen before? I’m also going to put a couple of links below just in case they might be of help to you.

Have a great week as we approach the unofficial start to the summer – Memorial Day weekend. 🇺🇸 Watch out for tourists. 🙂

Links:

About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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64 Responses to Slow Spring

  1. Relax... says:

    There’s not much to damage here, but I’ve noticed there are new little trees everywhere on our property, both maple AND oak.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. krc says:

    they look like dead sticks – too funny!
    😂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ally Bean says:

    Your sale was a crazy success. How wonderful. I agree about how gardening is a hobby that is always interesting. I think of it as science gone pretty. Happy Monday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is science, and with the environmental challenges it gets pretty bizarre. A couple were lamenting their veggie garden last year covered with all kinds of bugs to the point they had to dispose of it. Then he said he didn’t understand why farmers could raise huge crops of the same veggies with no issues. I asked if they sprayed, and, of course, they looked at me like I had two heads and said ‘no.’ Home gardeners want produce without pesticides, but that goal can almost be a full time job. You’ve got to love gardening to do it that’s for sure. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Murphy's Law says:

    Congratulations on a successful plant sale!! It’s nice when all the hours and hard work that go into organizing an event like this bears fruit. Add to that, people are hungry for anything spring and colorful they can lay their hands on right now,

    My rhododendron was looking pretty sickly for a while, but is blooming quite nicely now. A few years ago I planted my first (and last) butterfly bush. I was so excited at the thought of drawing butterflies to the yard. Well it died deader than a door nail! I don’t know what I did or didn’t do, but It didn’t make it,

    Your flowers are just beautiful…..as always. Glad you’re going to tackle an indoor project that’s less taxing than the garden. Remember my friend, it’s only your mind that’s still 20 years old, your body has gone ’round the bend!! Lol.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We have a 50 ft high dead stick in the front yard. Our walnut tree lost its leaves “early” in September, as did several others in the area. Many of those dead leaves are hanging on the tree still. Some kind of blight I am sure. No leaves this spring; and everything else is leafed out; so we know it is “finished”. Time to get someone in to cut it down. We are not happy about what that is going to cost, extra because the house power line runs through the side of it and there is NOT a lot of space around it to work. I’m sure it is over 100 years old, and provided a lot of shelter for wildlife.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We also lost a huge, over 100 year old tree this year. So sad.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Now, that is not a good thing. You’re not only losing shade and shelter, but also history. I hope your tree industry is not as busy as ours. We literally can’t even get on a list for tree folks around here, and the last time we tried to get someone to trim two large but very dead branches, the quote was $400. So, now we hope when they finally come down they don’t take fence panels out with them. Hope you find a good company, quick turnaround, and they do the work safely and for a decent price. 🙂

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  6. Joyce says:

    I’m happy about the results of your sale, but sorry about all the extra work you’ve encountered due to wacky weather lately. So far, everything’s good here – rhododendron buds galore, hostas popping up all over – including the transplants hubby moved last fall, and grass looks thick and green. Our only issues are moles – LOTS of them, and (leafy) shrubs next to the garage that are nothing but sticks with new growth emerging at the base. Not sure if we should cut back the sticks to the ground or just let the new growth pop up and fill everything in….? We’re looking for humane ways to eliminate the moles – I suppose they’ll just pack up and move next door if we find the right solution!
    Also, nearly forgot! Hubby has been complaining about – and removing by the barrel – pesky mustard weed from the woods. There’s always something!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like everything is doing pretty good in your part of the country, and that is a good thing. Ah, moles. They loves grubs. Sometimes, if you treat the lawn for grubs, they will definitely move next door looking for dinner. You might scrape those dead sticks with your nail, and if it is green it’s alive, but if it is brown underneath the bark it’s dead so clip away and let the new green sprouts take over. The fight of the mustard weed – I applaud your hubby’s effort. It is always something.:-)

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  7. Congratulations on your sale! That’s wonderful news! I am in South Jersey and we had a mild winter followed by a rainy spring. If you need plants, come and get them. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful that the plant sale went so well! Such events are a lot of work. A couple of bare patches on our lawn. But they seem too far away from the road or driveway to be the result of salt. We are extremely casual about our lawn. As in, we mow with an electric lawn mower, and that’s it. If the patches don’t fill in, we will try seeding in with clover. As you know from reading my blog, it’s been cool and rainy in Maine, too. I am hoping the heat doesn’t come crashing down on us.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Dan Antion says:

    Congratulations on the success of the sale. I was hoping you would have good weather for that. We do have some damage in the front grass. The snow plows plows snow from the street onto our sidewalk, and I have no choice but to blow it into the yard. We have way more ticks this year than we have ever had, and the squirrels and birds are working much harder to find food (except at our house).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the ticks are out in force so be careful. I did have a chuckle about the squirrels and birds looking for food in your neighborhood. There is probably a blinking light that they can all see and it says ‘all you can eat buffet.’ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Antion says:

        Ha ha – I think they’ve been telling their friends. My wife is clipping and bathing Maddie and trying to keep her clear of the really bad spots. We cut the grass lower. I think we’re going to need some heat to cut down on those little buggers.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. pastpeter says:

    Cool and rainy Spring here on Long Island, NY. We are almost a month ahead of you, but I too lost a butterfly bush and two astilbe. Strange year already!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oddment says:

    Since this is only my second gardening season in this place, I don’t know yet what’s usual or unusual. I do know we’ve lost spring as a season. Two Saturdays ago I attended my grandson’s soccer games with double layers and heavy long winter coat, and was still cold. This past Saturday the temp tickled 90 and the wind was straight out of a blast furnace. The soccer fields were slick with sweat. This is spring? I congratulate you and the other master gardeners on making this awful spring into a hopeful one for depressed gardeners. And I chuckle at Murphy’s Law; she’s right that only the mind is 20. But, ouch, the truth hurts! Your flowers are beautiful despite it all!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Joanne Sisco says:

    Our holiday Monday is today … not that it matters to a retired person like me, except the grocery stores are closed.

    I wonder if your sale was a huge success because the spring has been so miserable up to now. I for one went a bit crazy yesterday at the gardening centre. If it was bright and colourful, I was oohing and aaahing all over it. I’m now up to my ears in plants that need a summer home. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one throwing restraint to the wind.

    I have some ornamental grasses along the driveway that I suspect are victims of the winter. As you said, the use of salt is tough on the plants and lawn that border the road and driveway 😕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry about your grasses, but hope your spirits are raised by all the new things you bought to perk things up for the summer. Dare I admit, I dug my grasses all up and sold them last year at the sale or gave them to friends. Mine were so big that dividing them was quite a chore and it got more challenging every couple of years when I had to do it. I think just maybe it had to do with me aging as well. 🙂

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  13. It’s been similar here in Gardner MA (5b). The rains and the extended cold have been challenging. We let the dandelions be at first as they were the only early blooms for the pollinators before the violas showed up. (No early bulb flowers–this is our third year here, and the grounds were long neglected.) Now everything seems to be frantic to catch up for lost time. *chuckles* We hope to finally put what seedlings survived being indoors so long in the ground soon (no grow lights and few south facing windows). We’re still rather new at all this, and there have been many new lessons for us this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The bees have certainly been enjoying those dandelions up here too. I had plants in my garage in front of a window for way too long. I actually had to pitch some today. I hate doing that. I also had to throw away some plants that were potted but were way too wet and didn’t make it. Gardening – it’s a journey. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The blooms look wonderful. I have no idea what’s normal here so I observe and wait to see what happens. The weeds and dandelions are out in full force though.

    Are you going to start or work on a quilting project?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We’ve had lots and lots of rain, but I don’t know yet about our butterfly bush. There are still plenty of wildflowers in the park, although some of the varieties may not make their full bloom. I enjoyed seeing your lovely flowers, but I’m sorry about everything else!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Eliza Waters says:

    Impressive returns on your plant sale – good work!
    The rain has been a blessing and a curse (if one is trying to get things done). I worked through some showers Fri. and ended up a muddy mess!
    I hope you get to enjoy some renewal time with your feet up today.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. germac4 says:

    Congratulations on your plant sale.. you deserve a rest after all that work.😀 I love your colourful blossoms… it is good to see reminders of spring as we head into winter.👌

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Rose says:

    Way to go on the plant sale! My hibiscus is dead, too. I cannot seem to keep one. This one survived maybe three years. I hope to get a new one and get it planted soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. We’ve got dead rhododendrons, but worse, we’ve got gypsy moth caterpillars.I am completely demoralized.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ogee says:

    Mother Nature is testing you, but my money is on you! You are the most resourceful woman I know and you will find your way around her to a gorgeous summer display!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I know that after severe drought and then bucketing rain a couple of years ago, our rhubarb perished. It was so sturdy and productive for years, but all the excess water did it in. At the moment, we’re less than two weeks from winter and due to great rain in March after none all summer, my rose garden is looking amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. KerryCan says:

    Your photos focus on the positive, for sure–I love the bleeding heart but can’t seem to get one to grow! I’m glad your sale went so well–I imagine it’s partly because people were desperate to possess a bit of springtime!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do good with Bleeding Hearts in the shade unless, of course, I decide to move them and then that is an entirely different scenario. I moved them around a couple of years ago, and two of them still look like little more than sticks. 🙂

      Like

  23. What a successful plant sale. Brava. So far, our Spring is mainly chilly — as Spring should be in S. Ontario. Re: your Question — I never remember all the things in the garden, so I’m not sure what’s there till they pop up. I’ve also learned to wait before throwing things out. E.g. Jack in the pulpit can go dormant for a whole year, nourishing roots underground. And young trees and shrubs can be slow to send out leaves. I’ve been watching the birds build their nests — twig by twig. A meditation with nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have found two bird nests this week. I am always amazed at the intricate way they create their homes. You mentioned Jack in the Pulpit. I have two plants. One hasn’t come up, but one just did this week. They are an amazing addition to a garden. I’m with you with regard to not knowing everything in a garden. Some times there are surprises that pop up that certainly bring a smile. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Wow, that’s a very successful sale you had. I know what it’s like to put on something like that with all the logistical work ahead of time, and especially after it’s all over with the cleanup. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  25. That’s a lot of plants you sold. Yes, gardening is full of surprises. The cold weather here keeps making return visits – it was in the 50s today. I keep holding off putting my seedlings in the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. bikerchick57 says:

    Judy, your flowers are so pretty! I finally got the patio plants in pots and now I’m waiting for them to grow. It was a hard winter here and spring has also been cold and rainy. I don’t know if that has brought dismay to home gardeners, but at least we have green grass and leaves in the trees. We’re all waiting for the silly weather to make up its mnd what it wants to do. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same gardening challenges here. I’ve got perennials, bushes, and trees that died this year like I’ve never seen before. You can see the devastation as you drive around as well. Lots of spring clean up this year. Here’s hoping your pots take off and provide you with much enjoyment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Nancy says:

    Wow… a great sale!! Glad it went so well and the rain held off!

    Your flowers are blooming and bringing you lovely color.

    As for garden landscape problems… we came back with hearty plants all gone. What I found out later from a horticulturist is that we had 50 inches less snow then usual. We need the snow cover as it works as an insulator. So the ground freezes and so do some plants.

    Liked by 1 person

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