Perfect planting weather after a cold, wet spring

Published 9:00 am Sunday, June 1, 2014

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

Yahoo, I’m finally gardening again! After a cold and wet spring, this gardener is really behind schedule.

I have not purchased any annuals yet with the exception of a couple packs of alyssum and violas that will withstand the colder temperatures we have been enduring this spring. I made the decision not to buy plants and then have to haul them back in every night so they don’t freeze.

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Normally I would have my seeds and annuals planted and most of the container plants bought and some of the planting done, at least for the five cemetery urns that I make every year, but I have not succumbed to buying anything. This is the Monday before Memorial Day that I am writing this column; that is pretty scary for me.

Carol Hegel Lang

Carol Hegel Lang

This year, instead of Boston ferns to hang in front of the house, I am going with dragon wing begonias in pink, because the ferns are too heavy for me to lift up onto the hangers and in the fall they are huge and no one else wants them because they are quite messy in the house during the winter months.

For the past 15 years or more, the ferns have been my go-to plant as they love the east side of the house and really make you stop and look at the rest of the flowers there. So, we will see how the begonias do and if they live up to my expectations. In the containers under them I will be planting non-stop begonias for lots of color, thriller, and then I add blue arrows juncus in the center as my filler while the spiller is silver falls dichondra.

This past weekend I planted many different zinnia seeds in the various gardens, and had hoped time would allow me to also plant cosmos, but I just ran out time as we had a busy weekend. The annuals need to get planted soon if I want them to bloom this summer and fill the gardens with color. The latest I have ever planted annuals has been Memorial Day and that is fast approaching this next Monday. The weather does sound better for the rest of the week so just maybe I will get some planting done.

Normally, by now, I have been to all of the local garden centers checking out what they have, but since it has been too cold to plant my interest just hasn’t been piqued into visiting them. I know me, and if I see something I just have to have, I will buy it.

This year I am not hosting any garden tours so I have taken a more relaxed approach to my gardens. I am not in a panic mode because I don’t have things done that normally would have been done weeks ago. Even the fountains haven’t been hooked up, although they are set up and not filled with water yet.

The renovation of the front gardens is progressing slowly but surely and the brick path has been added this past week. I managed to add a few perennials and planted the canna tubers along the split-rail fence for color and to attract the hummingbirds. The bench has been moved into the garden and two bobo hydrangeas sit on either side of the bench just waiting their turn to get planted. I have to admit I miss having this bench in the backyard, but until I can find a bench that is just right for this spot it looks like this one will be staying in this location.

Pink bleeding hearts bloom in one of Lang’s spring gardens. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Pink bleeding hearts bloom in one of Lang’s spring gardens. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Hopefully I will have this garden planted in a few weeks so the mulch can get put down, but the way my spring is going, I’m not going to count on that task being finished anytime soon.

Also planted in the garden this year is Major Wheeler honeysuckle in garden No. 1 to attract hummingbirds that will climb up a trellis along the fence. On the pergola sweet summer love clematis with cranberry-violet blooms should be breathtaking, and I can hardly wait to see it bloom in late summer.

Enjoy the spring.


Carol Hegel Lang is a green thumb residing in Albert Lea. Her column appears weekly. Email her at