Saturday, March 24, 2012
Adventures In Gardening: Spring Has Sprung, Zone Changes & Buying Local!
Hello & happy Spring friends!
We officially left "the Winter that wasn't" behind on Tuesday and continued our "May weather in March" trend for much of the week. Temps dropped a bit yesterday and though we'll get into the 60s today, it looks like we'll be in the 50s for some time once the rain arrives tomorrow with a couple of nights dipping into the 30s! (Time to bring in those tender plants!) Daffodils are already past bloom (disturbing!) and just about every flowering tree & bush in the entire area is in bloom and even if I didn't see them I'd know - AAACHOO!!!
Both my northern & coastal gardens have had Zone changes per the updated 2012 Plant Hardiness Zone Map from the USDA which you can find here. I've moved from 6 to 6a up north and apparently from 7a to 7b here on the coast, though I'm not too certain about that. When I look at my coastal zone on the map, the color indicates 7a, which is what I've been since we moved here and I looked it up in 2005. But, when I search by my coastal zip code, it says I'm in 7b! I think it's great that the USDA has made changes to the map, even adding zones, with all of the climate changes around the Country, but I had hoped the new map would have negated any confusion!
Thursday was Forsythia Bush buying day! What do you mean you hadn't heard?! You must have missed my tweets!
On the way home from the doctors office, we stopped at a longtime, local area fixture, the Betsy Ross Farm Market, established in 1919, located in Port Monmouth NJ, so I could pick out two new Forsythia for out front. This is the only place I buy my Forythia from! Buying local is very important to me, whether here on the coast or up at our northern home and I do so as often as possible for everything before going to the big box stores etc.. I start in town then work my way to the surrounding communities & so on.
I also buy other plants for the garden here at Betsy Ross Farm Market, usually annuals like the Pansy's in the first photo above, their gorgeous yellow & wine colors my favorite & their scent so tempting, but I only had enough "sneaky money" (as I call it) for those Forsythia! (Ah gardening budgets!) He has a healthy, beautiful selection, reasonable priced for their large size and they do well in containers! (Very large containers). I was tempted to pick two in bloom like mine at home but thought the trip home, albeit it short, might do more harm than good so I picked two that hadn't opened yet. Hopefully they are the same large, vibrant yellow like I have already (I suspect they may be the more pale yellow with the smaller flowers), but either way I know I'll love them! I've loved Forsythia since I was a little girl. I love them for their Spring & Autumn beauty as well as their year-round privacy! (Even without their foliage in the Winter, there's enough of their 'bones' to provide some privacy).
Healing our landscape post Hurricane Irene has begun in the back yard! The three foot deep hole in the corner of the yard (where the fallen tree roots also pulled up the fences) is filled in and my containers of Roses, Hydrangea & Bleeding Heart and the bird bath have been returned to their places by the gate. (Please excuse my 'naked' containers, I haven't painted them for the season yet!)
Next step is bringing our chainsaw home to the coast from our northern shed so Hubbs can get rid of what's left of those fallen trees & their roots left behind by the power company & see what needs to be done to fix the fences. (Another step may be picking up two additional Forsythia to place along that chain-link fence to fill two empty spots & add privacy). Then the red fence will get re-stained.
I can't tell you how Good it felt to sit on the patio and see that corner (mostly) as it was pre Hurricane Irene!
What are you up to in the garden right now? What do you use your "sneaky money" for? I'd love to hear from you!
Until next time...
NJ Zones 7a? 7b? & 6a
New Jersey Through My Eyes
PS: Did you see that #gardenchat made the news?! Click here to go to the post with the video!!!