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Office, planning and RAIN!

April 17, 2017

It was an overcast day as I got ready and it started thundering before I left for the office. At times we had some torrential downpours, but so far it has amounted to less than 1/4 inch of rain at my house, but I will take it. The rain also kept it cooler today and hopefully washed off more pollen. We have not consistently had the air conditioning on (not for need) but because the contractor says he is in and out so much that it would not be efficient, so the house felt great tonight when I got home.  So the dust from construction combined with the pollen has made my house a living mess!  Are you all seeing a prodigious amount of catkins falling along with yellow pollen? We are blowing off the deck every few days, but once we finish, it is like it was never done!  Since our season is early maybe our mess will end early as well!

I had a full day at the office today with a bit over half of it spent in our last official planning session for the 2017 State MG conference before the volunteer walk through.  This committee is the first to think of a staggered conference with individual committee chairs at staggered times instead of the whole committee being there throughout. It makes for a much more efficient use of time for the committee chairman’s time.     We finalized registration on Friday and now we put the final touches on everything. It is going to be an outstanding conference and the Pulaski County folks have outdone themselves with all their hard work.

Everyone keeps talking about how early our season is and how far ahead of schedule the blooms are. I was surprised to see flower heads forming on big leaf hydrangea and milkweed this weekend.    I have had reports of milkweed already blooming in gardens and we have seen early blooming echinacea (coneflowers) and rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan’s) 

If you have spring blooming shrubs that have finished blooming, now is the time to prune them.  Be selective in your pruning. Don’t just shear them into meatball shapes.  I did a lot of pruning this past weekend and have more to go. I have loropetalum that have gone crazy.  The goal is not to remove more than 1/3 of the plant at any given time. I didn’t even get close, but I need to take off more. I also pruned azaleas, camellias and some hollies.  Try to get all pruning done of spring bloomers by mid June.   Make sure they are finished blooming, but prune as quickly as they finish as possible.

It is now safe to move houseplants outside.  I moved a palm outside a couple of weeks ago and it obviously got too much sun its first week out.  This is the result:

Gradually expose them to sunlight. Remember they have been sheltered indoors for the winter.  I will prune out the damaged growth, as new fresh fronds are already appearing.

There is so much to do in the garden, the problem is finding the time to do it!


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