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Monday, April 20, 2015

Marathon Spring

Foundation plantings in New England should be able to handle heavy snow.  Rule # 1 - Plant hardy shrubs and perennials. Then have fun. Mix in your annuals for additional texture and color. Add a few container plantings, too.
What an amazing April weekend. The weather was 'New England' perfect to get outdoors and just enjoy. And if by chance you waded through a few garden chores, the winter damage may have been noticeable, whether from deer, other wildlife or the snow impact alone. As Matt Foti of Foti Landscape and Tree Service points out in his recent newsletter, ‘One of the culprits of this past winter was a heavy snow load on shrubs, particularly foundation plants where people were shoveling their roofs to prevent ice dams. Early assessments will be necessary to determine whether or not plants can be salvaged or need to be replaced. Many plants can regenerate with hard pruning but this must be done prior to new growth.' In other words, time to be evaluating and moving on that spring check-up with all your trees, shrubs and plant materials.
Catmint(Nepeta), Daylilies name a few are always great choices for New England winters. And easy to divide too.
When it comes to foundation plantings, a simple design tip. If you live in New England, always plant hardy and resilient. Here are a few recommendations for what to plant close to your roof. Shrubs like Spirea or Potentilla are extremely tough. Getting flattened is no big deal. Both of these shrubs can bounce back quickly after a hard pruning. Also, hardy perennials like Daylilies, Catmint (Nepeta), Coneflowers (Echinacea) and even Peonies (a long-lived perennial) make great options, too. That list can go on and on but when you plant around a foundation in New England, consider how your plant materials shall fare the winter weather, too. Then pick wisely and keep the delicate materials away from the roofs.

With the spring gardens perking up quickly, it’s bound to be a Marathon spring. Make your damage assessments soon. It's always a race to get the best of the planting season (typically before the end of June).  And to all of today’s runners, good luck in finishing your amazing race. And if you're just a spectator, catch the beauty of New England and what's in spring bloom.

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)