Bailey Arboretum Horticultural Notes: May 2015

Mother’s Day: If Mom would rather visit a garden than a restaurant, take her. Purchase and plant a garden for her, or buy her a favorite tree—planted! If she wants to work in the garden that day, let her.

 Plants in distress? Could be early aphids or slugs, but more likely soil  conditions, frost damage, wind, and moisture variables caused by our  severe winter and dry spring.  

 Pruning: Continue pruning evergreens, prune spring flowering shrubs  after they bloom,Remove reverted green shoots emerging from  variegated shrubs, Time to coppice (ground level) or pollard (head  height) trees and shrubs, Check for nesting birds before you prune.

 Patience: Wait until June before discarding winter harmed trees and  shrubs. Brown leaves are winter damage, black leaves is fungus. Wait  also to plant warm weather crops and seedlings. Hold back on  planting herbs for a few weeks.

 Spring bulbs: Divide crowded clumps of daffodils, continue to  deadhead tulips and daffs. Take lots of pictures of your spring garden  so you can recall what bulbs were planted where. Fertilize bulbs and  let the foliage die back before removing.

 Biennials: Plant seeds of spring blooming biennials ( wallflower, Bellis  perennis) now for next spring.

 Perennials: Divide Primulas and Hosta, cut back spring bloomers for a  fresh flush of growth Some new “hot picks” include: Heucherella  Sweet Tea, variegated Brunnera, Dianthus Ruby Sparkles, Persicaria  Red Dragon, and Sisyrinchrium Devon Skies. Define the edges of your  garden areas with hard scape or soil troughs.

 Climbers: Twining of clematis and honeysuckle keeps them neat and  orderly and adds to the impact of the bloom.

 Lawns: Learn about the products going on to your lawn, keep up with weed control in the lawn. Identify the weed; it often indicates some deficiency in the soil necessary for lawn growth, ph. level, nitrogen level, compaction etc. Prepare a 3”gutter around the lawn so grass doesn't seep into other areas.

 Paths: Check all paths for accessibility, levelness and safety. Clean    algae off slate or bluestone, mark any surface roots, and fill in any  holes or muddy areas. Perhaps consider widening them for a stroller,  wheelchair, or walker.

 Gifts: Next to December this is gift buying time. Consider garden  related items. The best array of merchandise is available now. Newly-  weds need garden tools, graduates would enjoy an outdoor vacation  or gear for outdoor activities.