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March 2015
Wow! It’s Gardening Time!

On this day, eight days after pea-planting day (St. Patrick’s Day), almost all the snow is gone. Instead, the quite noticeable remains of last year’s pokeweed lie tangled in an old rose-of-Sharon and clutter the path to the dog pen/veggie garden along with Oriental bittersweet, raspberry, sumac and rose-of-Sharon seedlings – all from two years of neglect.

My intent on this balmy 47-degree day is to clean out the entrance and create a space to plant snow peas but on the way I spot the first shoots of daffodils. Oh my God! Spring is here! Waylaid, I rake leaves from the daffs only to find more shoots and so I rake for an hour and clip the soggy foliage of perennials.

With a fully loaded tarp of leaves and trimmings, and more awaiting the next couple tarp loads, I start a new compost pile downhill below the grass just behind the wild area with sumac and autumn olive that the birds love. (The plan is to replace these wild shrubs with spring blooming ‘Birgit’ and ‘Amethyst’ witch hazels that survived the last two winters in pots. Yes, I think I’ll plant a semi-wild wildlife heaven, though it already is a wildlife heaven – it’s just not pretty.)

The mugho pine has long outgrown a terraced bed is crowding out Rosa ‘Ballerina’ and must be dug up soon to be planted on the embankment surrounding the garage. That’s a “free-for-all” garden of deer-resistant thugs. May the best plants win!

The deep red shoots of tulips, iris and thyme on a small rocky terrace sport new growth. And much needs to be sprayed for deer.

Suddenly there’s so much to do!

by Mary Jasch

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