Every Blooming Thing

A butterfly alites upon a flowering bush as spring arrives in Tehama County.

While enjoying a quiet afternoon on my patio, the peace was suddenly shattered with the arrival of a Rufus hummingbird. Described as the feistiest hummingbird in North America, this Rufus was no exception. He literally attacked the Anna's hummingbirds sharing a feeder, chasing them away. I knew at that moment that spring had officially arrived in my garden.

There is something very special about this season. The new leaves on the trees are brighter and the flowers more showy. The wonderful world of color has exploded. In my yard, the intense yellow of the daffodils seem to sparkle beneath the deep pink of the Chinese fringe flowers. Butterflies flit among the lilacs. Harmonious sights and fragrances fill the senses.

Spring is a renewal of hope and a time to dream. It is also a time to plan and to work.

Clean-up is essential to avoid creating the perfect habitat for critters like snails, slugs and earwigs. I either hand pick or rake out all fallen leaves and other debris. Note any existing die-back on perennials and cut them back — most of them should have new leaves emerging at their base.

Since I have an established garden, I top dress fresh premium soil or aged compost into all my beds. I work it carefully into the existing soil with a trowel. Fresh mulch can also be applied. Then I water well.

As you walk around your yard observe the new plants that have come up, check bare areas and review your overall design. Are the colors working well together? Would another color enhance the existing colors? Is there enough interest usually created by differences of texture in leaves and flowers? Do you need more height? Do you need continuity or less formality?

Remember, hard landscape can also be added, a bench, a fountain. There are also great and fanciful garden art available to tuck into already existing plantings such as decorated glass plates on rebar or metal sculptures.

A garden is always a work in progress. I've never had a garden that was perfect and that is part of the fun, trying to achieve it. Just when I think that I am close, then I find that very special plant that I must have. Sooo, I have decided that change is a very good thing, almost perfect! Enjoy this spring. It is full of promise.

The Red Bluff Garden Club is having a plant sale from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 15 and 16 at the Union Hall at 12889 Baker Road. We will not only offer plants but garden art as well. Come join us and have fun shopping.

The Red Bluff Garden Club is a member of Cascade District, California Garden Clubs, Inc. and Pacific Region, National Garden Clubs, Inc.

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