Monday, March 25, 2013

Almost Spring

*The Currants are blooming! Happy Easter~

Palm Sunday was one of the coldest in recent memory, with a coat-cutting North wind that chilled one to the bone. Outdoor activities were not conducted by the faint hearted and many of us simply stepped outside and then scurried back into the warmth of the house. There will be plenty of days without a howling wind to finish cleaning the garden.

I noticed the discount stores have a wide variety of blooming flowers available now for an ‘instant color’ garden. There are differences in the cold tolerance of many flower species and the Summer blooming varieties will not survive the inevitable temperature dips of an Oklahoma Spring. The Zinnias, Petunias, and Marigolds for sale have lived in the optimum conditions of a greenhouse and have been fertilized to produce their profuse and early blooms. They will not fare well if planted now and the flowers they have produced will soon fade. Before purchasing, remember to gently loosen and ease the plant out of its container to inspect the root growth. If there are abundant blooms and foliage yet spindly root growth, do not buy that flower. The root system is the life support of the plant, and few roots are indicative of poor health.

This early in the spring, money would be well spent on cool weather plants, vegetables, and herbs. On the next fine day one may plant early pansies, strawberries, cabbage, Rosemary, and Sage with the assurance all will settle in nicely regardless of the weather. This is also the time to plant summer lilies and if groupings are planted in succession for three or four weeks, a spectacular show during all of July is assured. As one fades another will begin to bloom, with flowers usually lasting two weeks. The Stargazer is an all time favorite that never disappoints.

Several people have asked about the difference between a Jonquil and a Daffodil. The difference is the length of the trumpet. Both have a trumpet which rises from their circle of six petals. The Daffodil has a long trumpet, the Jonquil a shorter one. The lovely Narcissus is in a family of her own and traces her lineage back to mythology. The legendary Greek youth Narcissus was so enthralled with his own beauty that he became fixated looking at his reflection in a pond. Over time he wasted away and a lovely Narcissus sprang up in his place. With her delicate sweet scented blooms, she is indeed magical.

Photo: The Currants are blooming~ Happy Easter!

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