April 4-17, 2022: Weeks 14-15 Garden in Review


We had a frost that got to 30 overnight after I had placed a few annuals outside, but they were easily covered and now after about a week the damage has been pinched out and I’m back in business. Unfortunately I am finding that the previous deep freeze to 22 Fahrenheit took out quite a few Dutch iris this year that had already budded.


April in zone 8 is magic! The spring is short and astounding, and there are a lot of developments to share. Let’s start with the Trial Garden Sale. We live a few miles from a major university trial garden and annually in spring they have one heck of a sale. This year it was very cold overnight and I am not sure if the plants had been left out overnight or just put out when it was too cold, but after bringing home the plants, they began to show damage the next day. A bit of a disappointment, but they seem to be recovering. I picked up the following great plants:

Persian shield , red and yellow abutilons, purple salvia, 2coleus, and a pink sinningia
Better shot of the abutilons.

New Plantings

For the entirety of week 14 I was on break, but because of the cold forecast at the beginning of week 15 that damaged the trial garden plants, I could not plant as scheduled. In week 15, I have been slowly planting my seedlings each morning and now have about half left to plant. I am excited about my seed dahlias this year. I planted 24 Figaro dwarf dahlia in my rear right fence corner. I’ve been building that corner out for years. In 2018 I found a crape myrtle sapling in my front shrubs that I transplanted to that back corner. It’s quite large now and fronted with a red drift rose . The dahlias are in front of this. In the photo, they are still small and in the straw border. In addition to the Figaro, I planted dwarf cactus dahlia in the rear of my stop sign bed behind the miscanthus. This area is what I can see from the house and I though we deserved a bit of color too! I planted 20 Pom Pom seed dahlias behind the raised beds in my cutting garden… because my cutting garden is full already. Hoping they take back there.

Stop sign area. Dahlias added behind the large grass clump.

I filled a lot of my planters and will cover these as they begin to bloom. Currently they are full of green seedlings.

What’s Blooming?

During this period the irises, linaria, sweet William, verbascum, columbine, snapdragons and CA poppies started blooming. Poppies are up but not open yet.


March 21-28, 2022: Week 12 Garden in Review

The week was wet! Temps were in the high 60’s to 70’s and lows in the upper 40’s. We still have 2 nights in the 30’s on the forecast so my seedlings are still in their flats and getting root bound. It’s been increasingly harder by the day to keep them healthy! I spent some of the week looking online for hardy pitcher plants for the bog garden and settled on a set of 5 from an eBay store for about thirty dollars. These will be hardened off as soon as they arrive and will be planted as soon as frost is off the forecast.

The Bermuda grass is greening up and my husband cut it down so the lawn is looking pretty good. Bermuda greens from the bottom so you need to cut back the brown grass on the top to get to a green lawn in the spring. The first spring flowers that I direct sowed are in bloom. Spurred snapdragon, or linaria, are opening!


I took the time to put a little liquid miracle grow on all of my beds this week to give spring a push! My roses were fertilized as well. The frost a few weeks ago damaged the ends of iris leaves and rust and rot set in. I went through the beds to tidy them up and cut off the dead ends and rusty spotted leaves and threw them in the trash. Getting rust out of your environment is helpful so these diseased leaves did not make the compost heap.

I lost nearly all of my peas in the freeze. This week I replanted so peas will be a bit late. I deadheaded in the daffodil bed out front to clean up the look and pulled tulips and hyacinths from the pots that need planting with seedlings to make room. The spent bulbs are replanted in temporary pots so the leaves can die back naturally. This feeds the bulbs. Then they will be dry stored in my garage until September and placed in the refrigerator for 16 weeks and replanted next winter.

I moved my daylily seedlings in grow bags outside 24 hours a day and and planted a new pot up with salpiglossis, petunia and trailing vinca seedlings. They don’t look like much now, but in a few weeks expect an update! I received this pot free to review it and it’s quite colorful!

In spite of the rain, I set my rain bird hose bib fed sprinkler system back up this week. I removed 6 rotating sprinkler heads last fall to avoid freeze damage and didn’t think to label them. I’ve been avoiding setting these up as I did not know which sprinkler went where and they were set up to cover certain angles and areas. Somehow, my first try worked! I doubt all 6 are in their original spots, but where everything is now works to water what I need them too. What luck!