This past weekend was perfect for getting some work done in the garden, not only because of the decent weather, but because my box of bare-root perennials arrived from Lindenberg's, most of them already starting to grow. This pale, unhealthy-looking growth means the plants need soil, water and light right away, so we either had to pot them up indoors (but I didn't have that many big pots or enough potting soil) or plant them outside. So we really couldn't procrastinate any more.
The best thing we did was take down our last, ugly lilac bush. We also dug a new bed in our front yard, which up until now was mostly bare dirt and moss anyway. Then we planted all the perennials that came in the mail, mulched them with last year's leaves, and now we're praying that we don't get any hard frosts, since that new growth probably isn't acclimated to cold weather. If it does get cold at night, we'll just have to throw more leaves on them and hope for the best. So far, the coneflowers and the ostrich ferns are starting to look green, and hopefully the rest of them will perk up soon.
The alpine strawberries we planted last year are already blooming, so we have high hopes for more strawberries this year. The arctic kiwi is starting to leaf out, although it appears to have suffered some die-back. Our cupid cherry is also leafing out and showed no die-back, but it looks a little sad because I pruned quite a few of its branches off. I'm trying to train it into a small tree, but it looks pretty pathetic right now. Hopefully it will look better when it grows a bit more. The hardy rosebush we planted last year looks great, with lots of leaves right to the ends of its branches. We were also pleasantly surprised to find a lily coming up that I thought had died, although it was a little disconcerting to find it with a shovel while digging a hole for something else.
It's wonderful to see so many things that we planted a year or two ago coming back and making good progress, so now we're just hoping to see some success with the plants we put in this year.