Essay by Margaret Bowen
Staying-at-home this spring has provided a rare opportunity to work with my husband on our property. Normally a regular on the golf course, he has been present every day and had the time to explore with me the needs of our plantings and to enjoy their beauty. With the pent-up energy born of being housebound, we have both attacked with relish the pruning of overgrown Roses of Sharon, yews, holly and forsythia. Chopping away at the limbs was so satisfying to my husband that he cut down a 12-foot tall witch hazel to a mere three feet!
It was also possible to protect our tulips from a bumper-crop of rabbits by spraying rabbit repellent and by covering them with prickly holly branches. Sightings of our local woodchuck/groundhog have been frequent. A coyote passed through the backyard one morning in search of its prey. Then we removed two huge yews and discovered a nest of baby bunnies. Yikes!
It’s been a time of re-attunement with nature.
Pictures courtesy of Margaret Bowen: In the first picture there are roses and rose campion in the foreground with sedum and candytuft on the rocks. In the background center are rhodies and on the far right is a rosa glauca shrub (flat flower), lemon thread shrub & catmint. In the second photo the white flowered shrub is deutzia ‘niko’, the blue is baptisia and behind are a barberry and a golden spirea.
Pictures courtesy of Janice Daley: Oh, the bunnies! Oh, the bees!
Picture courtesy of Barbara Tatum: The bright blue plant mid-photo is Pulmonaria “Trevi Fountain” blooming with Woodland Phlox “May Breeze” (I hope the phlox comes back! It was new in spring 2020.) The coral bells are “Pink Fizz.”