Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring in my step

There's something about Spring in New England that makes me turn my attention from the inside of my house to the outside. A long, snowy Winter always makes the coming of Spring feel like an epic change that affects my mood and lifestyle. When the air stays consistently above freezing and my garden starts showing signs of life, I know that the warm days of Red Sox games and Samuel Adams Summer Ale aren't far behind. This transition has happened in just the last couple of weeks. This was my first weekend of being certifiably garden obsessed.

Last Fall we broke the bank and had an irrigation system installed in our yard. We are the proud new owners of a 22 zone system that allows us to dial in the watering for each garden bed and lawn zone. This is big stuff for New England gardeners for whom precipitation is reliable year round EXCEPT for a few days in the heat of Summer when grass, shrubs and perennials suffer. Yesterday I planted nine new shrubs and then promptly turned the system on to do the "watering in" for me. So far we've been extremely happy with the installation and system support from Autowater Irrigation Company in Lexington, MA.

We have mature trees around our property and so I deal with a lot of shade. Most of the plants I buy have to tolerate part shade. Yesterday I planted 3 groupings of 3 types of new shrubs each with their own benefits. In the front bed went Ilex meserveae, one 'Blue Prince' and two 'Blue Princess.' By planting male and female varieties, I hope to have some nice red berries and greenery to cut next December. Also newly planted are 3 Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire.' Our house is white with red doors and black shutters so the new growth on these shrubs should add to our curb appeal. Last, I planted 3 Deutzia 'Chardonnay Pearls' in the backyard for their brilliant foliage and delicate white flowers. (The wine inspired name didn't hurt either.)

This is the time of year for planting so if I can find another few minutes of freedom, you can bet there will be more to come. What's new in your garden?
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