Spring Savings in the Garden

by Maureen O'Boyle - bio | email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – We are officially in spring!  It is always such a beautiful season in the south, but is also an unpredictable time of transition.  While we are looking at temperatures in the seventies and eighties this week, we could easily see temperatures dip below freezing over the next five weeks.

I went to Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary on Ridgewood Avenue off Selwyn in Charlotte to speak with the garden curator Jeffrey Drum.  We walked through the incredible gardens lovingly developed and built over the course of her lifetime by Elizabeth Clarkson.  The weeping cherry trees are blossoming; the oak leaf hydrangeas are starting to leaf out and the bulbs in bursting with color.  He reminded me first and foremost we have to be patient when winter ends, "We can have surprises in April.  We can have a month of beautiful weather like we're having and wake up to a really severe freeze," Drum said.

He says if you're itching to get working in the garden, start by pruning.  Certain woody bushes, like the oak leaf hydrangea are starting to show signs of spring, and ready to lose the remnants of a harsh winter.  "Cut back to where you see the new growth starting," Drum told me cutting away a frayed and brown limb of the plant, just at the beginning of a bright green bunch of leaves.

Walk through your garden Drum suggests and look for perennials that might be crowded and need room to grow.  He found a clump of hostas that were growing over the edge of a walkway.  "This clump can be split up into four or five," Drum pointed out.  "Many of your perennials do better when they are divided up, and you don't have to spend money on new ones

Drum suggests you do that as well with perennials you purchase at your local nursery.   Drum purchased a ribbon plant and showed me how the one plant could become four in now time.  "And these plants will fill a space in no time," he pointed out.

Drum reminds us some plants are still dormant, so don't dig up anything  until we're well into spring.  Remember soon Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary will have their annual spring plant sale!  It is a wonderful place to be inspired, so make sure you take some time to enjoy this treasure we in our midst.

Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved.