Although I, like almost everyone else in Southern Ontario, have been moaning about how cold it’s been in April, there are ample signs that spring is progressing and the garden is awakening as it should. Yes, it’s been wet, but we all know what April showers bring, right? And there’s been snow and freezing rain, but with a normal last frost date in mid May, what else would you expect? Yes, temperatures on most days have not reached the ‘normal’ highs but the flip side of that is cooler weather means spring bulbs last longer. My Galanthus (Snowdrops), for example, have been blooming since the end of February and will likely last til the end of April. Remarkable!
Meanwhile, other spring bulbs, tubers, corms and perennials are waking up and starting to make an impression as the colours of the garden slowly morph from greys and browns to green and all other colours of the rainbow.
Tips to remember for the fall – layering and close planting.
When I plant bulbs I often ‘layer’ them to provide a longer bloom period – smaller Crocus and Chianodoxa, for example, bloom early and, in the planting hole, sit on top of larger bulbs like Narcissus, Allium and Fritillaria, which will bloom later. Or I’ll plant bulbs tight to the base of perennials so that the perennial foliage will grow and cover the dying leaves of the bulbs. This both lets the bulb gain strength for next years’ blooms and also helps nourish the soil.