By Brenda Powell
What a crazy spring this has been! I remember a few like this back in my younger days. I’ve enjoyed the steady progression of flowers that lasted far longer than in previous years. However, I’m ready for a week of sunny days in a row. The worst thing is, I’m behind and I’m not alone. As I’ve talked to neighbors and customers, many compared their garden notes between 2016 & 2017 and last year everything was planted by mid-April. Even though the nursery is selling lots of vegetable starts, I haven’t planted my own garden. That’s okay, though. There’s still time. The cool air temperature and rain mean that the garden soil has been cool and wet. Area farmers have the same problem. For the most part it hasn’t been warm or dry enough to plant most summer veggies in ground. And even if people planted, the starts don’t take off until the soil really warms up. So, if you think it’s too late to start your garden, it’s not. You may have to choose shorter season varieties this year, but unless someone has a green house, they really aren’t that far ahead of you. Plant shorter season tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans, fertilize and watch them grow. You’ll be harvesting in no time.
Even though I haven’t planted my vegetable garden, I have filled most of my containers with flowers. I got rid of some nice-looking pansies to put in the summer color. As you’re gravitating outdoors, you may want to perk up your planters, too. Again, it’s not too late. I like to see what my sister plants because she’s more experimental than I am. I tend to repeat the same thing from year to year. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but if Erica comes up with a dynamite combination, I like to steal her idea. I’m going to pass on a few of her planter combinations to inspire your choices.
For the sun: Carex oshimensis ‘Everillo’, black-leaved Heuchera or sun-tolerant Coleus, hot pink Geranium, trailing sky blue Petunia, and Rubus calycinoides.
For sun to part shade: yellow-variegated Euphorbia like ‘Ascot Rainbow’, Heliotrope, Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’, and trailing purple Torenia.
For Part shade to shade (the Go Silver planter): Japanese Painted Fern, silver-veined fancy-leave Begonia or Heuchera, white Impatiens, and Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’.
One things are planted, get out into your garden, breathe deep and relax. It’s summer after all and we deserve to enjoy it.