Category: Ginny Rosenkranz

April is when tulips bloom

All the bulbs that were planted in the fall sprout foliage in March and produce beautiful brightly colored flowers in April. Tulips are bulbs that prefer to live in colder areas than our Eastern Shore of Maryland, but some will still be able to survive our hot summers. They should be planted in full sun or in an area that provides some afternoon shade. They need to be planted in well drained soils at least 6-8 inches deep. If the bulbs are planted in low areas or in soggy soils, they will drown and die. Compost can be worked into the soil to add slow release nutrients. In the spring the foliage starts to emerge as early as February and March. The leaves of tulips are very hardy no matter how cold it gets. Once the leaves are about 7 inches tall, the flower buds will begin to grow out of the bulb and will soon grow taller than the leaves. Tulips come in a rainbow of colors and shapes. From purest white to the darkest purple that it appears to be black. There are yellow, orange, pink, red, lavender and purple. The earliest tulips usually have round flowers with single petals which often have short flower stalks and there are also double early tulips with many petals. The Triumph tulips which always flower in April have either a...

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Don’t be afraid to walk on egg shells

Starting seeds indoors in the early spring allows the home gardener the chance to try many varieties of plants with the smallest amount of money. Buying a few different variety seed packages of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, annual herbs and flowers can provide a full garden by planting only a few seeds of each variety and saving the seeds that become the new favorites for next year. Another way to save money and also help the garden vegetables is to plant the seeds inside of egg shells instead of purchasing peat pots or other special pots for seedlings. The egg shells are made up of calcium and many vegetables, including tomatoes, need calcium for better fruit set and fruit growth. Planting the seedlings grown in egg shells into the garden will allow the egg shells to decompose and gradually release the calcium for future vegetable. Break the eggs in half and remove the edible eggs for cooking or baking, then rinse out the inside of each shell. Place a crumbled paper towel for support inside the shell and poke a small hole in the bottom of the egg shell with a paper clip to allow drainage for the egg shell container. With a marker, add happy or silly faces to the egg shell and add the names of the vegetables, herbs and flowers. Add water to a new sterile...

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Cold weather won’t scare off all blooming

February is always a cold month and the ground can be covered with snow or frost, but with the occasional warm days there are landscape plants that will bloom despite the chilly weather. The Oregon Grape Holly is a native shrub that often blooms very early in the spring and sometimes as early as February. The plant grows to 3-6 feet tall with evergreen leaves that have sharp spines at the edges, very similar to the American Holly. The main difference between the American Holly and the Oregon Grape Holly is that the leaves of the Oregon Grape Holly has 13 leaflets that create a compound pinnate leaf while the American Holly has a single leaf. The flowers of the Oregon Grape Holly are small but bright yellow, slightly fragrant, and are arranged in clusters on stems that look like fireworks on the top of the plants. The stems are about 2-3 inches long and the yellow flowers shine brightly on the top of the dark glossy evergreen leaves. The plants love to grow in part sun or full shade in acidic, moist but well-drained soils, perfect for most of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Neither rabbits nor deer like to nibble on these plants but the native birds love the rounded blue grape like fruit. Another native shrub that blooms in the very early spring are the Witch...

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Admire how morning frost can dazzle

January may be a winter wonderland or just really cold and the plants we have in the garden can take a new look that might just dazzle the eyes. A light dusting of snow can change the look of a garden from brown ground with brown sticks to white sparkly groundcover and each branch of every plant outlined in white. Living so close to water, from the coastal bays to the Chesapeake Bay, the humidity, even in winter, can add to the landscape. A very cold morning may find all of the garden plants rimmed with clusters of diamond bright frost that melts away with the bright sunshine. There are not very many gardening chores in the winter, but a few of them may make the difference between beautiful plants in the spring or just dead sticks. Snow is lovely on the plants and it can be left on the deciduous plants — the ones that lose their leaves in the late fall — and some of the evergreen plants. Snow on many of the southern evergreen plants can be dangerous to those plants even if it looks beautiful on them. Evergreen plants have leaves or needles which will hold more snow on those plants and if the snow is heavy it can bend the branches too far and break the internal working of those plants. When uncovering Southern...

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Evergreens a must for winter gardens

Winter gardens look their best with evergreen plants to brighten up the landscape with the glossy green, steely blues and dark green to purple foliage. One plant that would fit a small to medium winter Eastern Shore landscape is the Variegated English Holly, Ilex aquifolium “Aurea Marginata.” The leaves are a dark, glossy evergreen with an irregular border of creamy white or pale yellow around the outside edges. Each of the leaves has a strong mid rib down the center of the leaf in a lighter green — and the wavy outside edges of each leaf has sharp spines on both sides and the tip of the leaf. The new foliage has hints of pink before expanding. Short branches of the holly can be trimmed off the plant and used to create or add to many winter holiday decorations, or they can be tucked into winter flower arrangements to give both color and texture to the designs. Mature holly plants can grow 15-40 feet tall and 10-20 feet wide if they are grown in well drained moist soils with afternoon shade and protection from the cold winter winds. Like all hollies, the Variegated English Holly has male and female plants, the male flowers will have white flowers with yellow anthers that hold the pollen and the female plants will have waxy fragrant white flowers that, if pollinated, will mature into bright...

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Upcoming Events

  1. Original
 Banner 
Show 
at 
St.
 Michaels
 Library

    April 3 @ 9:00 am - April 30 @ 8:00 pm
  2. Caroline
 County 
Family 
YMCA
: 
Seniors
 Day
 Out

    April 22 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
  3. River Arts
 Paint 
the
 Town

    April 25 @ 8:00 am - April 28 @ 5:00 pm
  4. Adkins
 Arboretum
 Spring 
Open
 House 
and
 Plant
 Sale

    April 26 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  5. Count
 Basie
 Orchestra

    April 26 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm