Once April comes and the temperatures warm up and the days grow longer, most gardeners are itching to get into the garden and start working. One of the best things to tackle before the perennials have started to leaf out is dividing them. It doesn’t take long for some perennials to out grow their space or over shadow their neighbors. Dividing a hefty perennial may seem daunting, but like any task having the right tool is key! One of the easiest tools to use to divide perennials is a 4 tine spading fork. Actually, having two of these forks is what works. Once you have dug the perennial out of the ground, stick one of the forks directly into the center of the perennial mass, referred to as the crown. Then slide the second fork in, back to back with the other folk, slightly intertwining the tines. Once the fork are both in, pull the handles in opposite directions prying the perennial apart. This action easily pulls the perennial apart without slicing or damaging the roots. You can repeat this process a few times turning one large plant into three or four. It’s a great way to get more plants for your garden or give away to fellow gardeners.
York ME Landscapers
As we all become more aware of the environmental impacts farming, gardening, and landscaping have on our waters, habitats, and people lots of folks want to move toward organic methods.
‘Organic’ is a term that has taken on lots of meaning and can be interpreted in different ways. The assumption that going organic is the silver bullet to solving agricultural issues has lots of grey areas.
One of these areas is related to pesticide use. The assumption that ‘if it is organic then it must be safe’, is not necessarily the case. Many natural products can be toxic as well, and potentially more harmful than some synthetics pesticides.
The key to any successful pest management is knowledge. First, understanding what it is that you are trying to control. Second, what are the environmental factors that may be contributing to this unwanted pest. The third step is researching the best time and method of control. This process is called Integrated Pest Management(IPM).
Here is a link to find out more information.
As summer approaches, I often think of those who have inspired me in the landscape profession. One of my favorites is Beatrix Farrand (1872-1959). She spent her summers in Maine as a child and then as an adult she made Bar Harbor a permanent residence. While she was educated in the great gardens of Europe, her love of the rocky Maine coast and the plants that thrived under those conditions gave her a unique perspective on the gardening world. I admire her most for her use of native plants whenever possible connecting the natural and designed landscape. Her accomplishments are great and varied with private residence and public projects all over the country with one of her most notable here in Maine. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller garden on Mount Desert Island is open to the public and well worth the visit. While in the area visit the Garland Farm, Farrand’s home for the last three years of her life, and visit the Asticou Azalea Garden. Before moving to Garland Farm, Farrand had an extensive garden that was dismantled. When Mrs. Farrand decided to dismantle her Reef Point estate in Bar Harbor, Charles Savage purchased the plants and build the Asticou Azalea Garden and the Thuya Garden in Northeast Harbor.
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden https://rockgardenmaine.wordpress.com/
Asticou Azalea Garden http://gardenpreserve.org/asticou-azalea-garden/history.html
Each year the Perennial Plant Association names a new ‘Perennial Plant of the Year’. Plants receive this designation by vote from the members of the association. Plants are chosen based on five criteria: “suitability for a wide range of climate conditions, low-maintenance requirements, relatively pest and disease resistant, readily available in the year of promotion, and displays multiple seasons of ornamental interest.” Since 1990 the association has chosen a wide variety of plants that are consistent performers in the landscape. This year Geranium x cantabrigience ‘Biokovo’ takes the honor. This sweet little hardy geranium, is referred to as Cranesbill geranium. It’s common name refers to the shape of the fruit after the flower has dropped it’s petals, which looks similar to a crane’s beak. Perennial geraniums are not in the same family as the annual geranium, and the flower is quite different. It does have a similar leaf and a long blooming season, from June until October. The leaves often turn a wonderful reddish for the fall, and the seed head holds interest for a long time as well.
Perennial Plant Association