My sore back tells me it’s spring

Oh man, I am getting too old for this. I helped with picking garden setup this morning, although we had a good turnout of men and a few younger people for a change, so I didn’t feel too bad taking on just the easy jobs. Especially because it was pretty humid and humidity always knocks me out.

Then in the afternoon I attacked my own planting jobs, as during the past week I’ve been going to garden centers and way too many things have followed me home.

Earlier this week, I worked on the difficult area near the parking spaces that gets inundated with piles of snow every winter. I’m trying to get a spring ephemeral garden going there, since they die back in the winter and I figure won’t be hurt by the snow piles. (Of course, there is the issue of salt, so I may be taking on a quixotic task, but we’ll see.) Last year I planted a bunch of stuff and some of it made it through the winter and some of it didn’t. So I got replacements and put them in. The things that came up were the ostrich ferns, the Solomon’s seal, some of the creeping phlox, the trout lilies I planted in the fall, and it looks like the nodding mandarin might be making it also, although it’s not looking too vigorous. This year I added more phlox, some tiarella, a bloodroot, and some creeping mint (meehania cordata). 

Today I planted a pinkshell azalea across the way in the wild area where I’ll see it as I’m walking to my car. It’s a bit of a stretch, as the hose doesn’t reach that far, so watering will be an issue and it may not make it. But if it does survive it will look pretty there against a backdrop of rhododendrons. I also moved 3 skullcaps that were way too tall for my front garden and put them near the azalea. I’m also thinking of getting some snakeroot to put behind, but we’ll see. (I wanted Allegheny skullcap, but GitW only sold a different type and it turned out to be considerably taller and not appropriate for my front garden. I’d still like to find some Allegheny skullcap, as it has pretty blue flowers in late spring.)

Then I replaced an inkberry that had been crushed by the snow, and saved it to move to the woods behind me and see if it can recover. I could use something evergreen back there. And I planted a three-toothed cinquefoil in front to see if it is happy there, and if so I will get a few more for groundcover.

Remaining jobs: dig up another pinkshell azalea that was damaged in the winter and move it into the woods in back also, along with a new spicebush. And plant a roseshell azalea where the pinkshell was (roseshell seems to be a bit smaller so may fit the space better).

Then try to weed the violets out of the back garden and mulch it, hopefully before the mosquitoes hit in full force. And replace the clematis if it didn’t survive the winter (it doesn’t seem to be coming up…)

In the veggie garden, I’ve got two beds in with peas, spinach, kale, parsley, carrots, kohlrabi, and lettuce. The asparagus is producing nicely. I’ve started seeds of broccoli, basil, tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini inside. I just need to turn over the remaining beds and plant beans and corn when things get a little warmer, and then keep everything weeded and watered.

Living in a condominium, I have less garden than I used to have, but still plenty to keep me busy.