Serendipity Gardens: Spring is finally here, and so are the chores

Published 9:00 am Saturday, March 30, 2019

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

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

Be still my heart! Spring is finally here and this gardener is ecstatic! Even though there are many huge piles of snow in the yard, every day when I look outside I can see how much they are going down. Of course, it will be some time before I will be planting anything, but it won’t be long before I will see things appearing in the gardens. Usually the very first things to appear are the blue grape hyacinth along the south side of the house, and then the daylilies, because the house provides warmth to the soil.

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It’s time to admit that I did weaken my resolve and order the Santa Cruz begonias, as well a clethra — a wonderful small shrub for the bees. To the list I added black and blue salvia — a hummingbird favorite, and a couple more begonias for hanging baskets. I will pat myself on the back for my restraint in not ordering many more gems that I wanted to add to the gardens this year.

Carol Hegel Lang

For the past couple years I planned to add on to the south side of the pollinator garden and this year it is going to happen for sure. Three shrubs are arriving and one of them will be planted in this area just for the pollinators to enjoy, along with a handful of native plants that will also find a home in this spot. My pollinator garden is increasing in size and plants — along with it the variety of pollinators and the amount that utilize this area has increased as well. It has quickly become my favorite garden and the black and blue salvia will find a home here again this year. Last year they were abuzz with hummingbirds and sphinx moths and I loved that I could sit in my kitchen and watch the activity.

My spirits are soaring with the sunshine and warmer temperatures we have finally been blessed with, and every day more and more birds have been seen in the gardens. Blackbirds and red-winged blackbirds arrived a few days before spring, but thus far, at the time of this writing, I have not seen any robins. Grape jelly and mealworms are added to my shopping list every week, so that when they are needed I will have a good supply for the birds.

A soon as the snow is gone, I need to clean out the bluebird house. Even though I have only had them once, I am hopeful they will come again. I plan to add at least two more wren houses, as the past season four pairs nested in my gardens. Oh, how I love to listen to their songs while I work out there.

It looks like the hydrangea and clematis are going to be late in getting cut back this year. I have usually done this chore by now, but with all of the snow I can’t get to them. On my list is also to clean up after the dog because, again, the snow drifts have prevented this getting done.

Looks like my spring is going to be very busy this year. Getting outside feels so good to my spirit and mind, so I try to stay outside about 30 minutes when I feed the birds to enjoy listening to all their chatter.

One of these days I need to get my seeds organized, so that when it is time to plant them I have everything I need in one place. Over the winter I have procrastinated on doing this and now it needs to be a priority.

You would think that as much as I wanted an early spring, this chore would have been at the top of my list, but for some reason I always find other things that need to get done — like our taxes — and my office does not have a lot of space to spread things out while I work on them.

Enjoy the spring weather!

“Spring with the nameless pathos in the air which dwells with all things fair, spring with her golden suns and silver rain, is with us once again.”  — Henry Timrod