Growing into May

The gardens are on the move, with and without our help. This week the Bosquet made the (subtle) transition from stunning to glorious; the Rock Garden is coming into its May peak; and in every other garden the tulips moved into position, poised to take the spotlight away from the daffodils. This past week we moved more plants out of the greenhouse and completed our annual spring milestone of getting the sweet peas and first round of lettuce (and kale, cabbage, and broccoli) into the ground. Huzzah!


We also did a little more editing of overgrowth. I often overhear and get into conversations with other gardeners about plants that spread or self-sow beyond expectations. So many of us end up irritated by plants’ generosity rather than feeling grateful for it. Sure, sometimes plants are actually invasive and should be evicted if at all possible. Others will put themselves inconveniently along edges or into the crown of a neighbor — which isn’t likely to win either plant any beauty contests, and may require surgical extraction; and deep taproots, brittle rhizomes, or dense mats of roots can make some plants’ overgrowth extremely difficult to remove. But for everything else (including mint), I say “the more the merrier!” And when editing is required, my mantra is, “easy come, easy go.” (I even wrote a book on the subject.) Whenever seedlings end up where they shouldn’t be allowed to grow to maturity, we move them — now is the time — to places where we do want them. Using these freebies to tweak the gardens’ designs is one of the fun parts of gardening. We offer extras to our volunteers (there have to be some perks to working here besides minty iced tea) and we’ll even throw extras of the extras onto the compost. I’ll admit that composting (killing) healthy plants rubs every gardener’s moral fiber the wrong way, but it’s perfectly legal whenever we’ve been given too much of a good thing.


Is your garden growing beyond your expectations? Are you editing, dividing, transplanting, and composting your favorites now too?