Winter Damage #1

Rain and higher temps have finally removed the four foot high stack of snow Dashy, my grandson, and I built last weekend. It was stacked over the drywell and has melted leaving the garden and all its flaws exposed to view.

?Of course the spring garden early early spring garden looks a bit disheveled and totally messy. Resist temptation to do too much cleaning up. I was crawling around lifting densely matter leaves with a stick. Don?t do more than this and only lift off the worst mats. If you start raking up piles of heavy wet leaves you?ll damage the poor bulbs beneath.

The leaves will eventually dry up and the earthworms will pull them underground. But meantime I couldn?t stand the idea of all those little babies underneath struggling for light and air, so out came my handy stick. I just lifted them very carefully.??And only the worst of the lot.

These leaves were ones I wouldn?t normally leave on the ground but snow hit with such a vengeance and early enough so there was no time to scatter them about and not let them get into piles—much to my regret now.

Looking at the winter damage can be discouraging but view it as an opportunity to shop. I?ve said this so often I now actually believe it. At the moment I?m seeing damage on Japanese maples and other small trees (the branches are a dead looking gray in contrast with the rest of the tree). Cut off any dead stuff, if you are confident.

Otherwise, find yourself a really good arbourist. Only hire a certified arbourist and get some references. Anyone who wears spikes should be avoided. They will do irreparable damage trees. Make sure you use clean tools. This is the time of year when you can spread around future diseases.

?If you?ve got huge patches of weeds, solarize them (see blog #52 with Shannon in the title). It?s a great way to recycle newspapers.

?Next week (Tuesday April 15) I?m speaking at First Canadian Place at the FCP Gallery which is near the Adelaide Street entrance. I?m due on at 12:15. They have sold out the show but are willing to take on a few unregistered people in case some have to cancel at the last minute.

Next weekend (Saturday, April 19) I?m speaking at the Music Festival in Collingwood. Contact Douglas Nadler for details and to purchase tickets He has done a terrific job with this show and I?d love to see people there and talk to you about your gardening problems. I?ll be bringing books to both places and I really really look forward to this. ?It really means spring is here.

1 Comment
  • B. McBurney

    April 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Hi Marjorie, My daughter just found your blog for me – bless her heart…and yours too!
    You are in my head whenever I’m in the garden. I have your four “favorites” books and refer to them often, and especially if I’m looking for something new.
    Happy Spring. I’ll be in touch to let you in on special moments in my little garden. I also thought of Tasha Tudor when I was outside just now. We saw her garden and met Tasha two years ago. She asked if anyone grew Fritillaria and I raised my hand. She asked where it grew and I admitted it was just outside the door to our bedroom. We exchanged a grimace and a smile and I still do both when I step out the door this time of year! It’s happy there, so I am too.