This month will go down as the wackiest April in recent memory. We had some unseasonably warm days followed by a handful of cold, grey, wet days. Yesterday was sunny one minute, and literally hailing ice pellets the next! Thankfully I did manage to set aside a few hours on one of the warmer days to clean up my street-side garden. I did very little clean up last fall and it had devolved over the winter months into an embarassing mess. My clean up consisted of a few basic tasks:

  • Cut back the Plume Poppy stalks – They grew taller and thicker than ever last year. Some stalks were like brittle bamboo poles.
  • Pruned back some of the bushier plants.
  • Cleared away some debris but left some as mulch – I believe in leaving some material to decompose.
  • Clean up garbage and dog poo left under the snow.

I also got into the garden last Saturday for about an hour to lay down fresh mulch and plant some red daylilies sent via the mail by my mother-in-law. Thanks Sue! It was a particularly dreary cold and rainy day but both tasks were best suited to the wet weather. Sometimes gardening just ain’t all that fun.

I still need to fix the twig fence and dig up plume poppy runners and rogue globe thistle before they are too rooted in to deal with, but like I said the weather has been blah and I’m only willing to tough it out in the rain a handful of times throughout the growing season.

Here’s some pics of the first crocus to come up in the garden. 1 | 2

Not much else is new. I really haven’t bothered much with seed starting this year and am relying pretty heavily on buying transplants. I bought two new cactus plants the other day and seem to have thwarted the thrips problem that came with my Key Lime tree. I have two new limes ready to harvest!

My lemon verbena made it through the winter. I can’t wait to settle it outdoors but that’s at least a month or so away yet. My scented geraniums are also itching to get outside but again it’s much, much too early yet.

I got a packet of “Green Wisdom Herbal Plant Food” from Urban Harvest yesterday at the Farmer’s Market. I’ve begun fertilizing my house plants again now that the days are longer and the light is more intense. I’ve made my own herb teas in the past but I like this one because it has a pleasant peppermint smell.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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2 thoughts on “April!

  1. Wow Gayla, you’ve totally got a head start on me, and the weather has been plantable here for weeks. Mind you, we’ve been getting the crazy nice weather interspersed with hailshowers a lot lately, which is really odd for Vancouver. My mom is distraught because the weather was so good in Saskatchewan that all her plants started coming up, then a couple nights ago it snowed. I think we’d all better be careful not to jump the gun this season!

    happy planting,

  2. I am a UK gardener and just had to write and tell you how fantastic I found your book!I bought it from Amazon and since i received it I’ve hardly put it down.I thought it might be the same as all the others and not that relevant to the UK, but hey what did I know!Keep up the good work.

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