There's so much that changes in the MG landscape throughout the year...we thought a plant trial and garden blog was the best way to start sharing "what's new" and "what's happening with all those new varieties" with you! Visit often for updates on how trial plants are performing in the gardens and to see photos throughout the season as we grow and change!

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog
Astilbe 'Vision in Red' with Hosta 'Patriot' and Carex 'Ice Dance'

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spring Clean Up!

Welcome Spring!
Now that the bulbs have officially popped out of the ground. Some of them quite literally popped out of the of the ground and just lie there dead now. You have to love the freeze and thaw effect. 12 hours of Gustavo cutting down plants and sending them to the compost. Or sending them to the prairie to act as fuel for the burn. The plant topography has really changed in a matter of a week. It's sad to see all the winter interest go away, but that means Spring is here, so it's not so sad after all.
This year we employed a weed whacker to take down 90% of the perennials in the Piet Oudolf garden. One person was able to cut the entire garden down in two days and get rid of all the evidence. There was minor bulb damage, but hopefully next year the Galanthus will look stunning. There is still a lot of Muscari waiting in the wings.

It's always fun to see the trucks drive away with loads of organic matter. This is the fourth or fifth load of the day.

Other bulbs are blooming in the garden. One of my favorites is the Chionodoxa forbesii that we have on perennial island. It is always great to see the first blues of the season. We also have a lot of Crocus, Scilla, and Puschkinia blooming here and there. The Iris reticulata in the grounds are quite breathtaking as well. It is so much fun to garden in grounds like these.

So, with all these bulbs blooming everywhere, I though I should go take a look in the woods. Are the ephemerals blooming? At first glance, the carpet of the woods is nothing more than leaf litter. It still looks pretty bare with the exception of a couple areas where Narcissus are coming up and Christmas fern has made it through the winter. But on closer inspection, I was pleasantly surprised to see many of the woodland friends emerging and getting ready to show off their stuff. The plants emerging are Erythronium americanum or Trout Lily, Trillium grandiflorum is starting to leaf out, Phlox divaricata laphamii is leafing out as is the Mertensia. Asarum is starting to grow as are the Dodecatheon. But then, if you look real close you can see the subtle superstar of the woodland garden. Hepatica acutifolia!
When we first started planting this garden, we installed around 400 Hepatica acutiloba. I've been eagerly anticipating it's arrival for months. Then on April Fool's Day, I walked the woods and discovered 40-50 plants were starting to bloom. My stress level instantly dropping, I had to pluck one from the group. I just wanted to be able to share the excitement with our staff. So it is time to start going to the forest preserves and looking for these gems. I would imaging the Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica) would be arriving shortly. I have to say it is much more exciting to go out and take pictures of plants than to search through pictures of plants we will be selling this year. Living in the now is so much fun!!! Until next time, have a great day!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comments here!