It’s definitely spring on the seacoast of New Hamphire although the thermometer doesn’t always reflect the season. Last night dipped into the mid-twenties. Water in the birdbaths are frozen solid this morning and blades of grass in the lawn are frozen stiff. Those temps won’t last long today. The thermometer will rise to comfortable mid-40’s, perfect for a brisk walk and perhaps a bit of fussing in the garden.
We’ve had rare nice days of 50’s and 60’s with blue skies and sunshine that lured me out for a little garen work. I’ve done most of the spring edging on the borders. I’ve trimmed and pruned. I’ve done a little cleanup but not too much leaf removal until we have steady temperatures in the 50’s to protect any insects that might winter over in the leaf litter. I’m careful of not working in too wet and squishy ground, too, as too much treading will squeeze ozygen from the soil.
Except for buds swelling, there is not much to see in these borders. No blooms but the crocus greens are above ground… and promply nibbled down by a bunny we have yet to see. The only signs are what he leaves behind in small piles in the lawn. That’s not the only wild visitor to the garden area. Early morning on April Fools Day, I spotted a larger plant-loving animal grazing nearby. I’ll have to watch this fella near the arborvitae as another name of arborvitae is ‘deer candy.’
I won’t have to worry about rabbits or deer grazing one of the first greens above ground….several plants in the onion family. We see chives, garlic chives, and the ornamental allium greens that are not fazed by the cold. I have two varieties of allium and love both. The allium ‘Giganteum’ was moved in the fall to a more protected area. The sturdy scapes can be up to 4′ tall with a dense round flower head. With that height, they needed a protected area between shrubs and out of the big winds.
The allium ‘Millenium’ below grows as a compact mass of rosy round blooms about a foot in height that appear mid-summer giving us over a month of glorious blooms and shiny green foilage that persist following the blooms. I have divided my clumps a few times and fussing over several in pots, hoping to have them ready for our garden club auction in June.
All the often overlooked plants in the onion family are carefree, drought resistant, pest-free, easy to grow, and greatly attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators. We have a lot of bumblebees that visit but have not seen a honeybees for a couple of summers. Hallelujah, a friend and nearby neighbor is a brand new beekeeper. We have seen the early scouts from her hive several times and I know they’ll be back for all I offer in this garden all summer… including the blooms in the onion family!