Serendipity Gardens: This spring moving in slow-motion

Published 9:00 am Saturday, May 12, 2018

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

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

With the arrival of spring weather, my whole attitude changes from grumpy to happy now that I can be outside working in the gardens. Little by little, I am checking off the tasks and making many trips to the landfill with yard waste.

Carol Hegel Lang

Email newsletter signup

The leaves from our red oak came off in December, so they were not raked or chopped up with the lawn mower, so I am trying to get them off the lawn and into the composter without actually raking the lawn. The ones that fell or blew into the gardens will be left to decompose and an add nutrients to the beds over the summer. I finally got all the sticks broken up so I could take them to the landfill, and now it is time to start working on getting things out of the garden shed.

My seeds are all ready to plant once the ground temperature reaches 65 degrees, so the seeds will germinate once we feel frost won’t strike us one last time. Last year, the seeds were not planted until the second week in June and they grew very quickly with the warmth of the soil. I probably will not plant them before Memorial Day unless temperatures stay consistently warm.

I have visited several garden centers and purchased a few plants that have now moved to the garage at night and out into a partially shaded area along the garage during the daytime hours. My rain barrels are ready for the first rains to fill them, which is much better for the plants than what comes out of the faucets.

It seems like this year everything is running in slow motion for some reason.

If the winds would die down, I could get a few garden containers spray painted, but every time I have time it has been too windy.

The heater came out of the birdbath, and fresh water was put in it after it was cleaned, but I really want to get this thing painted, as it has been a few years and it is chipped and faded.

The rays of the sun have really faded some of the containers I leave out all year long, and many of them need a little TLC to make them look pretty again.

I bought several new hummingbird feeders that only hold a cup of nectar, so hopefully they will stay cleaner longer since there isn’t as much sweet nectar to turn moldy. Several of my friends have already spotted hummers, but at this date of writing my column, none have made it to my house.

I stopped at the grocery store this afternoon to get a bag of oranges, and I already have grape jam out for the robins, so I am ready for the spring migration to visit my gardens.

As I was loading my car this morning with the things I had cleaned off the yard, I saw a yellow-headed blackbird among the rest of the blackbirds — a first for my gardens, and how I wished I would have had a camera to capture the moment.

Crocuses are blooming, tulips and daffodils are up and buds are forming, so it won’t be long and there will be even more color visible in the gardens! It always amazes me when my peonies are up only about 6 inches and already they have buds formed on them. All of the native plants found places in the gardens, so now I am watering them until they are established, and waiting for them to bloom possibly this year — but more than likely not until next year. I hope to get out to Brookside Park and check on the pollinator park we planted last June and see how they survived the winter. It will be so exciting to watch this garden over the next couple of years, as some plants take longer to establish and flower than others, but after three years it should be beautiful and ready for pollinators to use.

“It is not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.” — 1 Corinthians 3:7