Before starting any actual garden planning, I had to see what survived the long, brutal winter. Fortunately, it looks like everything came through OK, even the hydrangea I’ve been nursing along for a couple of years. The new summer phlox are making a reappearance, and I’m optimistic that I’ll get a showy bloom this year from the peonies. Last year we severely pruned the leggy lilac, in hopes that it would grow back fuller. It’s leafing out nicely, but I don’t expect to see blossoms this year.
Then, I was a lazy girl in the fall, so I still have clean-up to do … dead plants to pull up, last year’s perennial growth to trim off, leaves to rake out of the beds.
I’m dividing my chives and giving away the excess. There’s just not enough baked potatoes/sour cream/scrambled eggs to use half of what I have growing out there.
The parsley needs replacing, and I lost my thyme and rosemary since they were in pots on the deck.
It’s still too early to put out any tender plants, but I might get away with cool-weather vegetables like broccoli, lettuce or radishes. When it really warms up (the traditional planting time in Michigan seems to be Memorial Day weekend, but mid-May works for me), there will be basil, tomatoes and peppers, maybe cucumbers and zucchini.
As for flowers, I had good luck with begonias in the kitchen windowbox ... and of course there will be marigolds around the vegetables. Not sure what shade-tolerant annual I will put in the front bed ... the coleus did poorly last year, and impatiens are pretty boring. Any suggestions?