A Maine Garden in Late April
Last week, I had an opportunity to go home to Maine for a few days. I was eager to see the garden in early spring, and it seemed like a good time to get spring clean-up done. I knew that it wouldn’t be like last year, when March was unusually warm and dry, spring came very early, and I actually had flowers in my garden for bloom day in April (see Spring Blooms!). I expected to find the garden 1-2 weeks behind last year, but that meant that Forsythia and hyacinths would probably be in bloom.
Well, not quite. It turns out that this year spring is 3-4 weeks later than last year. The forsythia was not even close to blooming, and the hyacinths were showing tight buds, not flowers. I was puzzled by a dirt berm about one foot high left along the side of the driveway by the snow plow – until I scraped the surface of the berm with my spade and discovered that it was actually the icy remains of a snow bank!
Despite the lack of spring blooms, however, it was a good week to work in the garden. Most days were sunny and dry with daytime high temperatures around 60F. And the fact that perennial plants were barely beginning to break the surface of the soil made it easier to rake up leaves and fallen tree branches and to cut back last year’s stems and spent foliage without harming this year’s new growth.
|I wasn’t the first to “work” in the garden this spring. Hungry deer had already been through looking for food. I wasn’t surprised to find the variegated Euonymus, a favorite deer food, eaten back almost to the ground.|
|And just in case I might not know who had been visiting, the deer left this calling card at the edge of the garden.|
At the beginning of my visit, my flower beds looked like this:
But by the end of my visit, they looked like this:
When I get back to my Maine garden in a few weeks, this time to stay for several months, plants will be well up out of the ground, some flowers will be in bloom, and the garden season will have really begun!