After what was probably the worst winter in our lifetimes spring is finally here, welcome spring and welcome readers new and old! I have written many articles here if you are looking for something specific please use the search feature to the right. If you have a question or article suggestion please post it in the comment section below and remember comments are moderated so will not appear immediately. You can also email me. I will try my best to answer your questions.
Above the vivid orange of Species Tulip praestans Unicum
It was not your imagination last winter was truly the worst, it was reported in February that we had the most snow on the ground since 1978 and then it snowed seemingly continually thru April. I was a kid in the 70's so it is true that kids these days have no idea of the long walks to school in snow as high as your waist, well, until this year! It all seems like a distant memory now as it has become summer-like this spring. The only good part of all this snow is residual moisture for our trees and excellent winter protection for our small shrubs and perennials, even the rabbits couldn't eat our plants because they were buried. I hope it is another 40 years until another winter like this!
I always grab a flat of pansies in the spring and plant in different pots this way they can brought in if it gets too cold. Most years I plant these out in mid April but this year was so late I don't think there was a danger of heavy frost. They like cool wet weather so often excel during rainy periods in June and are expired by the time July heat rolls around.
My mom is growing a Fritillaria Imperialis in her back yard which is quite amazing as they are borderline hardy here. Many years these plants were decimated by the Red Lily Beetle but since Olds College has been introducing a natural predator of these beetles I have seen a lot less damage on all Lily family members. It's such great news as I have removed most lilies from my yard and have not purchased any new ones in years.