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Musings About Family, Travel And Gardening With Allen Martinson.


Sunshine on my Shoulder

I enjoyed my February in a lot of ways. All the reasons seem to be weather related so maybe I should say I enjoyed February’s weather. First of all the days that I have set aside for my own yard were doable for the things that needed to be doing. I kept up with doing the things that have to be done by the calendar, pruning and whatnot. I was able to take it a step further by digging up all my dead trees and clearing the carnage in my plant beds. It looks great and feels way better than seeing it every time my eye goes that way. Having the clean palate makes thinking about the next moves makes it way easier. Another way that I enjoyed February weather is that it didn’t stay cold for long periods at a time. I just can’t get my bones warm and don’t like standing around in it. We had a lot of sunshine, that always makes a cool day feel just right. Our work days have been very busy bringing in the pottery, plants and landscaping, the weather didn’t trip us up too much. Sometimes it’s easy to get behind in February because it’s messy and muddy.

Now comes March, Marching in like a Lion. From what we can see in the forecast, it looks like we had better lace up our boots. I’m not saying it’s “go” time but It is time to rev the engines. I see fat buds on lots of things in the woods and in our landscapes, the juices are flowing. I’ve seen daylilies and Hostas unrolling their leaves, that tells me the ground has warmed up a little bit. I like to have some sort of plan formulated by the time the wild pears are blooming, which is last week. Mimi and I spent last Sunday in the woods north of here with our friends from Flora. Like them, our idea of a good time that day was to get on a creek and follow it until we had enough of it. We love to go on long walks and talk, walkie talkie.

The conversation always seems to go a little further and lighter when we talk while we walk. The woods had a ways to go before I could call it greening up but the forest floor was coming alive. We spotted a few Trillium peaking out of the leaves ( that’s the sign of spring to me), the wild Carolina Jessamine was greened up and budded. The pebble bottom of this creek we followed and the steep bluffs all around us and the blonde beech leaves all made it look like we were in northern Alabama. Such a beautiful time to be in the woods in Mississippi, and a great barometer to what’s happening there is about to happen in our gardens. Red buds are budded and opening in the woods and in my yard, I guess the pine trees that are still living after all this beetle damage will begin to produce the thick, yellow pollen all over us as their spring welcome gift to us all.

Our greenhouses are filling up with all the plants we grow for sale at Garden Works. Our giant Geraniums are looking great, we will stop pinching the buds off of a certain amount so they can go upfront to see if they can be adopted by a nice family. The others will stay back so we can keep them in a vegetative state so the will get even bigger. When their time comes we let the blooms roll to give them a better chance to becoming a rescue for

someone. The bushes and trees are showing up by the truckload at all the garden centers we are lucky enough to have. We have so many great nurseries in Mississippi there’s a good chance that you’re going to find what you’re looking for if you shop around all of them when you get a chance.

We don’t all have everything but between all of us you’ll find it, it’s great fun trying to find that certain plant that tickles you fancy. The hunt for it will lead down some amusing rabbit holes and goose chases, it’ll probably be fun or, at least funny later. Nursery people are fun when you can slow one down. I think it’s time to start scouting around, it wasn’t only us the lost so many plants last year, the southeast, including Atlanta and Dallas can swallow up a lot plants real fast. I think the growers are getting bombarded and some plants are going to be tough to find with good size so be patient and know we will all be doing our best to get things in as quickly as we can find things.

Speaking of scouting around, the Humming bird scouts may be showing up this in the next few weeks to find the good sources for nutrients. The way to prepare for their arrival is to hang a feeder and wait, if they don’t show up right away make sure the feeder stays clean. The females will begin to appear a couple of weeks behind the male scouts. Many of the plants that provide flowers with nectar are generally not showing yet so a feeder might help. I plan to check the schedule at The Pascagoula River Audubon society to get any reports on their progress this year. Proceed with caution while we do the weather dance. Maybe plant some pots if you can’t stop yourself, if you win you are ahead. March is upon us and it looks like it’s going to be a fun one, visit you’re local garden centers and have a little fun with us.


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