April showers bring May flowers…or so we hope. It rains more in Virginia than it did on Long Island. We’ve had a month of several days of strong rains, followed by warm sunshine. The plants thrive in this weather and I’m glad we aren’t tapping the wellwater to irrigate them.
Last Thursday after some business in Farmville, John and I went to B&M nursery and garden center. Eagerly I combed through their plant selection, feeling right at home and flashing back to my days working at Martin Viette Nurseries. I found an excellent selection of houseplants and statuary and we already have our eye on several purchases. We then found roses at Rose’s discount store in town, and I planted my rose garden this weekend. Two ‘Sonia’ grandifloras and one ‘Bonica’ shrub rose were added to the two ‘Blaze’ red climbers, the twig from the rose bush in Huntington, and the rosa rugosas. The Blaze bareroot roses don’t look good; I am losing hope that they will survive. Sonia, Bonica, and the rugosas look fine though and the rugosas have a bit of leaf peeking out.
The dogwood cuttings we planted last fall finally bloomed today! John found the first red flower. Three of the four appear to be leafing out. I had such a strong urge to say, “I told you so!” Just last Saturday he wanted to dig them up; he was convinced they were dead. My intuition told me they just needed more time than the already estabished trees, and I was right. Maybe there’s hope left for some of the other trees.
All of the orchard trees leafed out with the exception of one cherry. Some look more vigorous than others, but most appear to be setting down roots in the field.
Herbs plants purchased last week as well as herbs started from seed will go into the kitchen garden starting this weekend. I really want to build a raised bed under the kitchen windows, but not sure how it will look. We’ll see.
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.