No year is ever a carbon copy of another. No day in the life of an animal, including the human one, is a “carbon” copy of another. Life is filled with errors and the unexpected , for WITHOUT ERRORS OF NATURE, LIFE, WHETHER PLANT OR ANIMAL WOULD NEVER CHANGE.
I am in my 80s….. and began landscape gardening in my neighbor’s sandbox about 75 years ago. I have many memories of my Twin City, Minnesota winters.
Winter is very long in our Northland….It is equal to all other landscape seasons combined….one half of each year. When I was a child, adults understood that calendar of winter. Folks lived as farm families then when both male and female of the household became fully aware of the demands of the seasons and that weight of life, living and working outdoors in the northern winter for survival.
City folk are rarely outdoors until Spring these days. In today’s suburban Minnesota there are no alleys to garages for parking cars. Cars, for good or bad, are now stored ‘in’ the ‘room’ next to or close to the kitchen……where no one is ever ‘inconvenienced’ by having to go into the out doors to get to work. Mosquitoes begin to bite in Minnesota around late May on the average, often ending all or most visits tiptoeing through the tulips and enjoying the glories of the new season’s fragrance, growth, and color. Yet, how could they come to know anything about the glories of a northern spring, when only a shrub or two and lawn grass are their primary plants of life decorating, allegedly, ideally, to inspire them to enter their Eden-like outdoor world?
In my neighborhood nearly half of the Colorado Blue Spruces planted fifty years ago when the houses were built, are more than half dead… No one seems to notice.
I do believe, however, some Twin City folks nevertheless, have actually felt something unusual, something special about this Minnesota Spring.
It started early….in March, perhaps even mid February. It followed a remarkably comfortable Winter void of minus twenty something Fahrenheit and five feet of snowbanks. No killer frosts. No heat waves. Not this Spring!
Life in 2016 Twin City’s Minnesota has been glorious….at least for those of us who have planted with Spring, by far the most beautiful season of our northern year, in mind.
This year nearly every spring plant woody or no, has been more beautiful in sight and form, and holding its beauty longer than ever in memory. In my own grounds, PJM Rhododendrons both large and dwarf, Redbuds all, Juddii Fragrant Viburnums, my thirty foot tall flowering crabapple, along with all major and minor Dutch bulbs, perennials Lenten Rose, colored ajuga foliage, mats of fresh lily of the valley foliage, sedums, blooms of vinca, pachysandra, even sweet woodruff in the sun, blood root, corydalis, white Arabis rock cress, Darmera, and on and on….all blooming ‘at once and together’….a sight I have never seen in the four decades I have lived and planted here.
Along side such color, so beautiful yet so often unappreciated, even unnoticed is the new growth popping out along the evergreen branches of the MOST IMPORTANT PLANTS OF THE MINNESOTA LANDSCAPE GARDEN, THE EVERGREEN CONIFERS, even those beauties the conifer tamarack which are not evergreen.
Normally the bloom beauty of our PJM Rhododendrons, our azaleas, any flowering plums or crabapples, black locusts, buckeyes, magnolias or Juddii Viburnums lasts at most a week….beginning in earnest around the middle of May, give or take a week one direction or the other.
Our conifers, so seldom planted, so seldom appreciated for their beauty, for their “ever” green nature, so rarely doctored when diseased, go unnoticed and so, go unplanted. Their 2016 spring growth on my grounds, whether spruce, pine, fir, juniper, arborvitae, hemlock, yew, or chamaecyparis, along with the deciduous larch I cherish, began their spring show almost two weeks ago……Their foliar budding increases every day and will continue to do so until the first week in June this year, not the usual five days to a week of winsome, attractive, fresh spring beauty of others of the garden, but SIX WEEKS OF WINSOME, ATTRACTIVE, FRESH SPRING BEAUTY!
Yet, we in gopherland ignore their place in our Earthly garden life, for we don’t pay too much attention to anything landscape garden beyond lawn and a ‘bush’ or two.
Note to our clients…..Do not forget our client appreciation day at our Masterpiece Landscaping Home grounds is Thursday, May 26 this year. Be sure to call us at 952-933-5777 in you have any questions….