Georgia Garden Girl

Garden Great in Zone 8!

My Action-Packed Weekend

on March 3, 2014

What a lovely weekend in Zone 8! Sunshine and 70s. Daffodils and hellebores blooming. Bees buzzing around blueberry flowers. New perennial leaves peeking out of the ground. Green grass blades appearing here and there. Viburnums preparing to put on a beautiful display.

It was a great weekend to get some of those late winter/early spring tasks done, so my weekend was action-packed (granted, my definition of “action-packed” may not be the same as yours):

  • Pruned the oleander, which had been hit hard by the recent freezes.
  • Pruned the roses.
  • Cut the suckers off the cherry tree.
  • Checked the hoses and sprayer nozzles for leaks.
  • Dug up some azaleas that I never liked (my predecessor apparently loved red and Pepto-Bismol pink together) and replaced them with baby hellebores from Sunshine Farm & Gardens.
  • Planted the strawberries I had divided several weeks ago.
  • Interplanted roses and strawberries with onions (per the recommendation of the book Carrots Love Tomatoes).
  • Moved some perennials and started making a map of where to plant new ones.
  • Finished building raised beds around my new asparagus crowns, which went in the ground back in February.
  • Planted the fatsia I’ve been meaning to plant for ages.
  • Replaced my sweet, precious winter Daphne (may she rest in peace) with a new one.
  • Repotted some of the coleus I’ve been overwintering inside and started setting it out to harden off.

There were, of course, unpleasant surprises.  I learned the hard way that a colony of fire ants happily spent the winter in my large blue strawberry pot (thank you, Benadryl cream, for fixing my hand).  I noticed that many of my more tender perennials are gone—likely due to a combination of the recent freezes and my former yard man’s eager weed whacker.   And I did make a mistake or two. The most significant one: I followed the package directions on the caladium bulbs and went ahead and planted them BEFORE consulting an expert. Oops. Walter Reeves says that caladiums are tropical and should not go into the ground until the soil temperature is 65°. That’s okra planting weather, y’all. Oh, well. If I had followed my initial inclination to start them in pots, there would be no problem. Or if I had at least marked them, I could dig them up. But I didn’t, so I will just hope they come up anyway.

It is Monday, and I’m a little achy after all that work. But the pile of branches at the street is impressive, and I am glad to see everything start to shape up for spring.

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