First, it seemed like we would have our last spring frost in March this year–it was so delightfully mild. Then early April brought a quick dip into a frosty night or two before moderating again: okay, still unusually early for a last frost, but not impossible. Then late April: yeah, that’s been the new normal for the last few years. Once again, however, we’ve been humbled by the harsh reality that the old normal of Mother’s Day really is the most reasonable benchmark for the last frost in our part of southeastern Pennsylvania. My apologies to all of the seedlings I started way too early this year. And my congratulations to all of the hardy plants that sailed through the frosty nights, even while in full bloom; once again, you impress me with your resilience. Read More
After many years of focusing on big, sun-loving, late-season plants, I have gradually been working on adding spring interest to the gardens here at Hayefield, and my efforts are starting to pay off. There are still many more opportunities to explore, but it’s a good start! It sure helps that we had a lovely spell of gradually milder temperatures and gentle rains this year. That blissful period ended in the last week, with wicked winds, small hail, pounding rain, and a return to flirting with freezing temperatures. But hey, it wouldn’t be real-life gardening if it were too easy, right? Despite the difficulties, I still have some highlights to share for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day today. Since I started with one of my favorite bulbs, ‘Gravetye Giant’ summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum), let’s continue with some other bulbs. Read More
Last month, I started discussing one of my favorite kinds of seeds: the self-sowers. Though they have a reputation for being easy, self-sowers tend to make their own rules, sometimes needing specific germination conditions and benefiting from a little custom care to work to best advantage. Over the years, I’ve come up with some ways that work well for me and identified a bunch of self-sowers that have been happy to make Hayefield their home.