Tomorrow, the perennial house and the greenhouse containing flowers and vegetable plants opens. Due to the abnormally cool to cold weather, some of the perennials will not be available for a week or more. As far as the heat-loving flowers and heat-loving vegetable plants, it is much too early to plant them as any experienced gardener knows. A few years back, one of the customers asked me on the first day of May if planting most of the flowers in the greenhouse now would be much too early. I replied, “yes” to his question in which he responded, “then why do you have the greenhouse open?” I answered that the customers want it open and expect it and that it is not up to me to tell “them” what and when they should plant; however, if asked, I will tell any customer that for most of the flowers in the greenhouse not to be planted until the third or fourth week of May depending upon the weather.
Most of the trees and shrubs have come out of storage except Canadian Hemlocks have been delayed and the tea roses will not come out of their growing house until just before Mother’s Day. Fortunately there has not been a shortage of rain so that the irrigation water of good quality is not a problem as we continue to collect the runoff from the grounds and building roofs.
So far upon examination, our beneficial “bugs” experiment is working to keep down harmful spider mites and insects in the greenhouse but the real test is to come when temperatures warm and the greenhouse becomes even more of a salad bowl for the aggravating critters. No doubt the month of May will be a frenzy for those of us behind the scene as much of April has been a drag on planting and garden cleanup due to weather restrictions. With the advent of May, hopefully the sun will shine and the rain will sometimes fall without temperatures of 85º F. We’ll see.