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Spring Assessment

Learn about how to best assess your gardens for Spring on this edition of Focus On Flowers.

When our spring gardens are at their peak, it is a good time to assess what you already have as well as make notes about what we need to do to make them even better for next year.

If our daffodils are not blooming as lavishly as they once did, it is probably time to divide them, or, at least scatter fertilizer around them after the blossoms fade.

If our color combinations need improvement, this is the time to make notes about possible changes. Do we have enough spring blooming perennials, such as white lacy candytuft; yellow alyssum; Lady’s Mantle; and creeping phlox?

In the shade gardens, are there lily of the valley, bleeding heart, pulmonaria, epimedium, celadine poppies, and Virginia bluebells? Are we using low growing companion plants effectively to camouflage the bulb foliage as it dies down?

Day lily foliage grows up just as bulb foliage is dying down, so these plants are useful combined in a bed. Make notes to fill in any gaps in the sequence of bulbs that bloom across early, mid and late spring, so that you will know what to plant next fall.

How about spring blooming shrubs? Flowering Quince, flowering almond, viburnum, Korean lilac, tree peony, and mock orange are possibilities. Walk around your neighborhood and notice what is blooming that catches your eye.

Identify plants you have seen by checking your catalogs or by asking as a local nursery, so that you can site them appropriately if you want to acquire them. Take inventory, compile wish lists, plan ahead, and next spring you will be so happy that you did.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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