Celebrate Spring!

We’ve had some exceptional weather–2018  Wettest Year Ever!   We missed the Biblical Weather this Winter that punished much of the rest of the country.  At least so far!
March was wet and windy but most plants seem to remain on schedule.  We’ve already had to delay some Spring pruning to avoid late Frost damage.
Now is a good time to get outside and start pulling back mulch and leaves from emerging bulbs and perennials and sort out what’s good and what’s failed.  Early perennials and Pansies can go in the ground now, as well as Snow Peas and other Spring greens.
Other to do list items for the Spring include pruning late Summer-flowering shrubs; Crepe Myrtles, Buddleia, Roses which can be reduced as desired with out harm.
Groundcovers appreciate shearing to allow new growth to emerge with a ‘fresh’ look (also benefits Bulbs by providing more space and air); Liriope, Evergreen Ferns, Astilbes and Hostas.
Clear old leaves and debris from under shrubs to allow fresh air and prevent rot.
Inspect trees and shrubs for dead/damaged limbs and remove.
And so important in these days of lessening what goes to landfill; most pruning/clean-up matter is better composted than fighting with Trash Bags and sending all that organic matter to a landfill.  When we remove your trash it either goes to the Montgomery County dump where they compost it or we take it to a composting site. 
Everyone’s concerned about the Pollinators (including the European Honeybees);  interesting that the ‘early season’ weeds– Chickweed, Bluets and all the Mustards– are reliable sources of nectar and pollen for all the little winged helpers when few other plants are flowering.  Good reason to ‘leave them be’, most will succumb in the heat and won’t require treatment with toxic chemicals.  Lawns can be treated with Compro to invigorate turf without poisoning the Bay!

On to the fun stuff!

A new trend popping up at various Garden Shows across the country is “Meeting Areas”  A twist on the concept of “outdoor rooms”.  Now you can set a table for alfresco dining surrounded by a Herb Garden with fresh sprigs in drinks or the grill.  OR have a ‘kiddie corral’ with a cutting garden to entrance the little ones– better than Utube!  Maybe a secluded retreat with a bubbling water feature to soothe the soul– a hammock, perhaps?  Or a meditation grove with Moss and Ferns.  Front yard seating is making a comeback– what better way to connect with your neighbors?
I especially appreciate how Mushrooms and Fungi are getting some positive press:  research is showing that mycelia (fungal root systems) not only deliver nutrients to plants (especially trees)– another good reason to renounce chemical applications– but act as communication systems (think Internet) allowing trees to share information when under attack or stress.  Seems plants and Fungi are interdependent
While New Dawn Gardens has been supporting an organic approach for years, this year we’re happy to introduce Cedarcide– an organic Mosquito repellent that’s proven safe for kids, pets, fish and bees!  Hopefully, gone are the days of the Mosquito Death Squads that eliminated all  winged creatures and poisoned fish.  Who wants to go outside to a Night Garden that’s deadly silent, without fireflies, frogs or singing crickets?
I love the new therapy: Forest Bathing!  While the notion of roaming through an Old Growth Forest is the ultimate romantic escape, we can provide our own personal versions; created to our own desires and accessible anytime we wish  We’re only limited by our imagination So now is the time to get outside, breathe the fresh Spring air and get out hands dirty creating our own Paradise.

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