Field of Science

Spring garden assessment

This wasn't a particularly bad winter except the coldest weather was not accompanied by snow cover, so plants were quite exposed. Now that spring growth is beginning some assessment of winter damage can be made.  Two new mountain laurels took a beating; one might survive, the other is toast.  A Leptodermis also new last year looks like a loss as well. A big old Annabelle hydrangea looks like a weed whacker went after it, but it was just bunnies.  Most of the trees and shrubs that we expended water on look pretty good this spring, which shows that winter cold often gets the blame for death caused by prior drought. A dwarf hemlock looks OK, and given TPP's track record with this species (0 for 3 attempts) it's a good sign for it to just be alive.  Our nominee for most improved (at this point) is a flowering quince that got severely bunnied last year, but recovered very nicely from within it's cage.  A Pieris has better flower buds than it has had for many years. Hoping for one or two  magnolias to flower for the first time: odds on butterfly magnolia - almost certain; odds on Oyama magnolia - still a long shot. A better evaluation of the patients will be possible as the season progresses.  Bright note: Iris reticulata multiplied nicely since last year (their first), and it's such a cheerfully colorful early bulb when planted in mass.  Drought didn't matter much because they go dormant in the summer heat. 

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