At last a chance to see what has happened in the garden since the first snowfall last winter. It has been such a snowy winter that the garden is just starting to show signs of growth. The same time last year the perennials were nearly a foot tall. I always like to get out into the garden and see how the garden has weathered. Taking a good look I can take note on what needs repair, accessing the winter’s damage to the plantings and a good check to see how much needed cleaning is required. It will be a few weeks before we can really enjoy the warms days of spring. Let’s see what I have found.


One of the stone benches with pebbles and debris from the roof during snow removal.


Here the stone floor in the shade garden is in need of a good cleaning, of course more debris from the roof.


Most of the snow from the roof was put in this particular spot away from the more densely planted sections of the garden. An amazing sight as the snow nearly covered up this cherry tree.

Interesting snow melt formation.


When the kitchen garden was converted into a perennial flower garden, an access path was installed. It seems some stone edging will give this path more definition.


Alliums in this garden are the first to signal spring has arrived. Each fall I seem to plant a few dozen more alliums and I eagerly await spring for the anticipation of hundreds of drumstick blooms to fill the garden en masse. Bulbs that have been planted a few years back are about ready for dividing. I will mark the clumps that need separating and dig them up in late summer.


One of my favorite perennials to emerge in spring is the herbaceous peonies. I don’t know if it’s the color or that peonies are one of my favorite flowers. With each spring the clumps spread wider and grow with more vigor.


A stately tree peony.

If you don’t have one in your garden you should, the blooms are gorgeous. These are rather large shrubs that top at five feet high and a mature tree peony will bear up to eighty large blooms. Last spring this peony produced fifteen blooms, in height it only has grown two feet.


The sedums are starting to sprout, like miniature brassicas. I noticed that some of the sedums need transplanting last year. The best time to transplant will be in the early part of April.


The Lycimachia punctata ‘alexander’ is spreading rather nicely between the hydrangea shrubs. I had planned on transplanting them into another part of the garden to give them more sun, but this year the rabbits chewed down a lot of the shrubs. The hydrangeas will need heavy pruning that will give the lysimachia more sunlight. Along with the chewed lilacs they will have to wait until after bloom to be neatly shaped.


It seems every year the winter’s wrath takes it out on some part of the front hedge. The first snow fall was wet and heavy, when this happens it’s a good idea to knock the snow off any shrub to maintain their shape. This winter as we all know was one of the snowiest and with all of the snow from the street being piled high onto the hedge the damage was inevitable. This photo is what happens when a plow does not know what lies beneath the snow.


This is another part of the hedge that was flattened from last year when a tree was being removed and fell right onto the shrubs. This part I know will be replanted as soon as the nursery opens up for business. 


  Last spring this trellis was built as a privacy screen. It has held up rather well and with last fall’s meticulous clean up, it is ready for planting as soon as the weather warms.


Another view of the trellis. Three barrels support a large trellis eighteen feet wide and seven feet tall.


An urn, barren after being cleaned of its winter greenery.

Each fall potted perennials are over wintered from various parts of the property in the garden. Here moneywort is planted into the ground and allowed to rest and be protected from the harsh winter temperatures. As planters, urns and pots are ready these are dug up and potted for the summer. Sometimes treated as an annual, moneywort is a beautiful trailing perennial that if allowed to mature will flower. Many of you may know this; moneywort is also a great ground cover.

Soon the garden will truly start to look alive. Don’t be bogged down by imperfection, a garden will tell you how it wants to be. Plants live, they die and yes, rabbits get hungry too.