Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spring Gardening. . .At Last!

by Maggie Sefton








Like other areas of the country, those of us along the Front Range of Colorado (Denver and points north along the Colorado Rockies) have been having a very wet Spring. Lots of rain, some light showers, other times days of rain when Pacific storm fronts have moved slowly across our areas bringing lots of water and cooler temps in the 60's. In fact, our High Country has received so much snow during winter/spring, that the snowpack is 200% of normal. That means there will be some flooding along our rivers when warm temps arrive and the snowmelt starts in June.



Now, we love having rain here in Colorado. This is the West, which means we're drier than points east of us like the Midwest and the entire East Coast. May is traditionally our rainiest month. That's all good. But. . .sometimes the rain storms and chilly weather last later in the month, which keeps most of us weekend gardeners inside. It's either raining or about to or it's just plain chilly.


Some of you, I know, will plant when it's chilly and damp outside. I've done a fair share of that myself when I lived Back East, and fifteen years in the Midwest. Then our family came to Colorado. . .and it spoils you rotten with the wonderful weather. Lots of sunny days and May temps that are warm from the first or second week onward into June and summer weather.



So. . .the later Spring storms kept me from planting my flower gardens this year. I haven't even made my yearly visit to the nurseries and garden shops to pick out my favorite annuals. Last weekend was nice, but my daughter Melissa was visiting from New York City so no garden shop visits. This weekend, however, looks great. Showers earlier in the week are giving way to sunny days and temps rising to mid and upper 70's. Perfect for digging in the dirt and being outside.




So. . .this week, I'll spare some time from finishing the Kelly Flynn mystery due in June and head to the local garden shops and indulge myself in browsing amongst the flowers. I love to plant annuals in the summer because they're such a big burst of colors. Simple petunias, delicate violas, bright impatiens. . .and so many others. I'm particularly fond of the lush purple colors and deep pinks. By this time next week, I should have all my flowerbeds in the front yard planted as well as all the big pots that I have in the gardens, lots and lots of pots. I have more in the back yard. Puppy Dog Max has a thing for hanging baskets, so I've become adept at securing them to the three bishop hooks along the back patio.




What are your favorite spring/summer flowers for planting? Do you plant in pots or in gardens?


13 comments:

Tonya Kappes said...

This wet weather has really put a damper on my planting. We plant in gardens. This year we are trying our hand at a few veggie plants:)

booksNyarn said...

I am up in the rainy Northeast (central MA) and I have to say the bachelor buttons I scattered as seeds are huge! Also the columbine I planted last year has returned, but in a totally different colour (pale gold instead of pink)!

Now, if it would just warm up enough for my tomatoes to go in...

Booklady said...

I don't plant - it's not fair to the flowers. I swear, I could plant fake flowers and they would still die. But I love visiting the nurseries and dreaming about what I would plant if I had a green thumb. I love all kinds, day lilies, irises, petunias, tulips, daffodils. And I love wildflowers, too: bluebonnets (I'm what I call a Colorado Texan - born in Texas and torn between the two states) and Indian Paintbrushes.

Tom Stevens said...

What is happening with the weather these days. The whole world seems to be turned up on its head as far as the weather is concerned.
Places that are supposed to be dry are soaked in rain and I saw in the paper the other day the UK has been sunnier and hotter than the southern med area.
Very strange.
Happy gardening Maggie, put your wellies on and get stuck in haha.

signlady217 said...

Hubby is the main gardener around here. I tend to kill them off! He just put in some new stuff last week and trimmed up the bushes. Looks great, as always!

Cindy D said...

We are planning a trip to Colorado next month - to RMNP and across Trail Ridge Road to west side, then to Montrose then MVNP. Somewhat concerned if snow melt/flooding will affect our trip...

Aurian said...

I sadly have no garden, but I am determined to try some potted plants this year. Last sunny weekend I cleaned the paved backyard with the high pressure thingy (nice playing with water when it is hot), so it is ready for some color.

Here in Holland it is extremely dry. Danger of fires everywhere, so no barbequing and stuff alowed, and some morons who love setting fire to nature around! They should just toss them in! I really cannot understand people like that. It takes ages for nature to recover. So send some of your rain this way please.

Maggie Sefton said...

Tonya---Oooo, fresh veggies. Love those.

booksYarn---An unexpected color change. How fun. Love fresh home grown tomatoes.

Maggie Sefton said...

Booklady---LOl. I don't think you could really kill fake plants. Why not buy already potted plants?

Tom---You're kidding! The UK is hotter than the Med? Boy. . .something really is wrong with the weather.

Maggie Sefton said...

signlady---Someone else who kills plants! You folks are too hard on yourselves. Plants are pretty hardy. It was probably bad bugs or something (g).

Maggie Sefton said...

Cindy D---Don't worry about your trip. By next month we should have summer temps and not as much rain. And they're already clearing Trail Ridge Road. It sounds like a great trip. Our rivers will be running high and fast and will be beautiful to look at. Our Cache La Poudre is a Class 5 kayaking river in June with the snowmelt.

Maggie Sefton said...

Aurian---Definitely buy some potted plants. They should do well. And I'm surprised at how Europe's summer weather seems to be getting hotter these last few years. I've noticed it.

I agree about the morons.

Vickie said...

We tilled in our new veggie garden location a few weeks ago and planted in the corn, peas, green beans, tomatoes and hot peppers varietals just before the big rain and hail storm. We tilled on Friday in the sun and planted in the light rain the next day. then the hail the following Tuesday and DH went out to cover the peppers and tomato plants with buckets and towels over the tomato cages.

I started shift work the last couple of weeks, too, so that and the rain has kept me from doing up my containers and replenishing the spaces in the garden of plants that didn't make it through the winter. Lady K and I have a chickie day on Tuesday, so we will be going to the nursery and King Sooper to get some annuals for the containers and maybe a few perennials and get the containers going. Columbines, pansies, violas, petunias, nicotiana, sweet potato vines for the containers and achillea, agastache, lavenders...we will plant anything that is reasonably xeric and bright in color. I love my gardening.