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Sunday, March 25, 2012




If anyone doubts that global warning is real, a quick survey of gardens and groves around our area will substantiate any and all theories put forth by the scientific community that things are heating up, so much so that our growing area has been changed from 6b to 7a.  The cherry-blossoms of the famed trees which line the Tidal Basin are upon us now, to the delight of early tourists and plant-lovers who relish this seasonal display.  Quince, forsythia, and service-berry are similarly ecstatic.  The nation's capital is most wondrous at this time of the year, and all should embrace the wonder of our numerous green-spaces and public gardens.

Lady's Emblom's garden seems illuminated at night by the white petals of Maureen tulips, abundant clumps of spring snowflakes {leucojum vernum}, and prancing bands of Daisy Miller which seems to have easily braved the mild winter.  In the morning, the full glory of her creativity is revealed by lush beds of grape-hyacinth {muscari} bordered by orange Princess Irene tulips.  Beneath the red-bud tree, species tulips have naturalized and complement the globular solemnity of English boxwood which line the garden paths.  Variegated and blue hostas are already pushing through, and ferns have burst forth from the moist layer of leaf mould.  In the early fall, nine peonies were planted in the front bed, and already about 3 inches of new shoots can be seen.  Rains yesterday invigorated rainbow leucothoe plants, as well as thirsty hydrangeas, azaleas, camellias, and shrub roses which now rise almost thigh-high and seem unstoppable. Plans for tackling the vegetable beds have been well undertaken by now, and onion, sweet-pepper, squash, and runner-bean seeds are germinating in trays out at the little hot-house where the temperature and humidity is just right, and squirrels and rabbits can't nibble or snack on this year's intended bounty.  

Whatever you failed to get done this past weekend, it's still not too late to head to your local garden-shop where herbs, vegetables, perennials and annuals are daily arriving.   This gardening season do try to have fun by committing to an hour every evening or weekend, trying new species and container-pot combinations, and promise yourself (as well as the planet) to get even greener by avoiding the aisle with pesticides, herbicides and other unwanted chemicals.  Your health, kids, pets, and all the other creatures of the earth will thank you for doing so.


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