4/19/18 – Spring! It’s finally here! Wahoo! OK, well technically it arrived about a month ago, and only a few weeks back here in the Hudson Valley of NY, we still had about a foot of snow sparkling in the sun…remnants of back to back late winter storms that graced the region with up to 12″ of light, fluffy, easy to shovel snow.
Last winter around this same time, we had a massive late winter storm dump about 28″ on us, leaving neighborhood roads piled high…tempting me to grab my mittens and snow boots and head out to excavate the roadside tunnels and hideouts I remember from my youth. Tempting, yes. Very. But did I? No. It’s no fun to play in snow tunnels all by yourself and most of the 50-somethings I know spend their days indoors, at real jobs. They just aren’t too inclined to play in the nuisance that just got dumped on them – especially after spending megabucks to have it plowed out of the way. Sigh.
But now the wonderful whiteness has all but vanished, and snow drops, crocus, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths have broken out of the winter weary earth, climbing towards the sun as their snug blankets of snow fade into memory. Rainy days have replaced snow storms, and the ground is pretty saturated. Best not to do a lot of walking around on it yet to avoid disturbing the magic happening under the ground…
…So what’s a gardener to do in the meantime?
Well, this is the time of the season that regional garden and flower shows spring up all over, so that’s one inspiring place to go for unique ideas, ‘must have’ have new tools, great design ideas and seminars on so many great topics it’s hard to keep track. The Capital District Garden and Flower Show at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY, is one of my favorites, and the hockey arena turned full out garden exposition hall is always a spectacular treat!
While it’s a little late for the big flower shows, it’s not too early to start haunting the garden aisles at Lowes and Home Depot for sacks of summer bulbs, young fruit trees and rose and berry bushes! Snatch them up while you can because the most unusual colors and assortments sell out fast. I was amazed at the selection at the Lowes in Chester, NY, but kind of underwhelmed at the offerings at the Lowes in Albany when I visited last week…but maybe since Albany is a zone behind, their bulb deliveries follow suit?
Now is a great time to start a gardening notebook – you can sketch out new garden beds, make notes on how many hours of sun or shade each area gets, research and clip pictures of must have plants from catalogs.
Before you know it, the ground will be workable, summer and fall bulbs will need planting and LOTS of gorgeous annuals and perennials will be arriving at local nurseries – looking for forever garden homes. Every plant has something special to share… a remarkable scent, surprising color, lovely leaves…and memories…plants are perfect ways to immortalize a special occasion.
And finally, who would have expected to find unique garden tools in Boscov’s? (Boscov’s is a NE chain with nicely priced merchandise, similar to Kohl’s.) There’s a big Boscov’s in Albany where I found a pretty good sized display of garden items strategically placed front and center on my way in the door…including the ‘garden claw’ gloves a friend had just sent a link to, and a big display of lightweight METAL garden hose…guaranteed not to puncture (WAHOO) or kink!
Being a garden hose junkie, I HAD to take a good close look at this latest offering in a very competitive market! While the price of these metal hoses will set you back a bit, I’m pretty sure I can justify spending the money, especially since only one of the four lightweight, expandable garden hoses I purchased over the past couple of summers hasn’t self destructed…I LOVE those shrinking hoses but gosh, they are so NOT sturdy. The lightweight metal hoses look like they’ll be perfect replacements! (Take a look at similar hoses here: http://metalgardenhose.com). I hope there are some left when I stop in again because no, I didn’t snag a few when I had the chance… but if Boscov’s has them, can Lowes or Home Depot or our favorite local nurseries be far behind? I hope not!
So, I’m excited. I hope you are too. New season, new gadgets, new annuals, perennials and bulbs, new tips and time savers and lots of sunny days are coming our way to make this season the best yet!