Cornelian Cherry, or Cornus mas if you really want the scientific name, is a diminutive tree with dainty spidery flowers that blooms for almost 2 months. I have had one for 20 years now and it is only 12 feet tall, the perfect size for most small gardens. Now is the time to see them in the garden centers because once they go out of bloom you will never notice them next to all the other showy plants of spring. They are completely insect and disease free and need very little pruning to keep them shapely. They also produce a cherry that is adored by birds, so what's not to like about the Cornelian Cherry.
The shrub Forsythia has forever been considered The Harbinger of Spring by gardeners. Used to be that the only Forsythias on the market were the ones like grandma had that grew 10-12 feet tall and obliterated the front living room window, but now there are easy to manage dwarf ones like Magical Gold that stays in the 5-6 feet range with enormous blooms, and even a shorter one called Showoff Starlet that only grows 2-3 feet tall. All Forsythias can be cut back aggressively after bloom to generate new growth that will be covered with blooms again the following spring.
The partial shade-loving Buttercup Winter Hazel has to be one of my favorite shrubs in my garden. Fine textured, good fall color, nice arching form, disease free and light buttery yellow blooms this time of year all combine to make this shrub a real keeper. If you are turned off by the gaudy golden blooms of Forsythia then opt for this shrub. It is unassuming yet delightful.
Finally, who could have a garden without some daffodils? Whether you call them daffodils, narcissus or jonquils, they are all bright and cheery and for the most part naturalize and return every season all on their own. From the 6-inch tall varieties to the hybridized 18-inch King Alfred, you just can't go wrong with a daffodil. If you don't like the looks of them dying down after they bloom, either interplant with some perennials or treat them as an annual and throw them away or put them in a container that you can move out of sight. And if you happen to have issues with deer, rest assured that deer do not eat daffodils.
On the To-Do list for this week would be pruning grapes and kiwis. Both of these vines are aggressive growers and need serious pruning to keep them in check and to manage the fruit set. If you wait too much longer to prune them they will "bleed" for weeks and, while this doesn't seem to harm them, you will feel terrible every time you walk by them. Prune lateral growth from the main branches back to 4-6 inches and space out the laterals to about one foot apart. When you are done, there should be as many limbs on the ground as there is on the trellis. If this is totally freaking you out, come into the nursery and we will give you a demo.
Also on the list is planting your cool season garden, which means getting the beds re-fertilized and re-composted and planting root crops, leaf crops and peas. Plant now or forever hold your peas.
Until next time, Happy Gardening!
You can reach Steve at Sunnyside Nursery at 425-334-2002 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org
Random thoughts for May
Tue, May 21, 2013
Stake now or forever hold your peas
Thu, May 16, 2013
Mays checklist for the garden
Tue, Apr 30, 2013
Time to get crabby
Tue, Apr 23, 2013
Plant insurance â who needs it?
Mon, Apr 15, 2013
Learn about food gardens, support food bank
Mon, Apr 1, 2013
These are a few of my favorite things
Tue, Mar 26, 2013
Please dont rush the season
Wed, Mar 20, 2013
Plant your cool season vegetables
Tue, Mar 12, 2013
Your March to-do list
Tue, Mar 5, 2013
Winter is almost over
Tue, Feb 26, 2013
Time for the 25th annual Flower and Garden Show
Wed, Feb 20, 2013
Februarys to-do list in the garden
Tue, Feb 12, 2013
Yes, there really are plants that bloom in winter
Tue, Feb 5, 2013
Growing small fruits and berries
Tue, Jan 29, 2013
Yikes, its freezing out there
Tue, Jan 22, 2013
Warning: Dont buy your plants at the warehouse store
Wed, Jan 16, 2013
Words of inspiration, perspiration and constipation
Tue, Jan 8, 2013
Your December to-do list
Wed, Dec 5, 2012
Which gardening personality are you?
Wed, Oct 24, 2012