Skip to main content

April 2024

Is It Dead?

Even after 50 plus years in the horticulture field, I still have a hard time reigning myself in at the first sign of spring. If the sky is blue and the temperatures are in the 70s for a few days in a row, then I convince myself that spring has fully arrived and my entire garden should be springing into life. Inevitably though, when I make my rounds, several of my prized plants are not yet budding out and I panic, convinced that they are dead and need to be IMMEDIATELY replaced.. Before I can do any real harm to the beds, my husband gently removes the shovel from my hands and reassures me that not all plants emerge at the same time  – some simply need a warmer soil temperature to wake up from winter’s resting period.

Welcome Back!  

In a normal year, if there even is such a thing anymore, I would wait until the end of April to begin preparing for the return of my hummingbirds. After checking this year’s interactive migration map (  however, it appears that I don’t have time to wait. Ruby throated hummingbirds, our regional species, have already been spotted across the entire state of Missouri, including a spotting right here on the Katy Trail. 

Planting the Perfect Spring Container

Every spring I tell myself that this will be the year that my container plantings will be “knock out gorgeous.” But somehow, what I see in my mind's eye doesn’t come close to the reality of what’s in front of me. They aren’t awful,  just amateurish.

Conquering Critters in the Garden

After two very successful seasons of trapping and relocating groundhogs, I thought I had finally conquered my four-footed enemy.  Since there had been no sign of him after July, I felt confident that he was gone for good... or at least one season. So, I went ahead and put in my dream spring garden.  I planted cabbage and broccoli, spinach and lettuce, bok choy and snow peas, carrots, radishes, onions, potatoes. I even added some marigold seeds to ward off uninvited insects.  Bordered with pots of pansies, it was beautiful!  I was happy.