Avant Gardening

Your May Gardening Checklist, Add a Memorial to Your Garden


Your Late May Gardening Checklist

It’s show time! We typically think of spring as being the start to several months of beauty with the fresh scent of lilacs in the air, and other flowers bursting into bloom. Even dragging out the patio furniture can be a ritual to get you ready for the summer garden show.

Our last two Avant Gardening & Landscaping blog posts focused on tips to help you get ready to plant, grow, and maintain your flowers and/or vegetable gardens. Now it’s Memorial Day, and for many of us – it’s time to get growing!  Here you’ll find a simple list to stay on track, and enjoy this time of year; while further below, some easy ideas to include a Memorial in your garden.

1.  Enjoy the Springtime Air! Open up your windows and let the fresh air float in – you’re likely to catch some sweet scents from crabapple, catalpa, viburnum, and as we already mentioned, lilacs. The strong scent of lilacs is nostalgic for many, but did you know lilacs are associated with the Midwest because of the 19th-century pioneer practice of planting lilacs near outhouses?

2.  Be Cautious about Cold Weather! There’s still a 50% chance of frost in southern Wisconsin in May, and just in the last week, our high and low temperatures are averaging far below what’s considered the normal high of 69, and low of 47-degrees (according to the readings taken at the Dane County Regional Airport). If a frost or cold weather is in the forecast, protect your tender plants with mulch, newspaper, or by covering with a light cloth overnight.

3.  Consider New Plantings! You aren’t seeing any blooms, or some of your favorites didn’t make it through the winter? Our team suggests adding a few of the following plants for early interest:  Brunnera, Epimedium, Amsonia, Tiarella, Heuchera, Columbines, and Irises.

4.  Mulch, Mulch, Mulch! Add a 2-4” layer of mulch to your planting beds now to help your garden for the long run. It’s also a good time to mulch around your trees, but avoid mounding it against the trunk. Natural mulch will reduce weeds, help retain moisture, and incorporate organic matter into the soil. BONUS:  Don’t miss Olbrich Botanical Gardens leaf mulch sale. There’s still two opportunities this Friday and Saturday, May 22 and 23. You’ll find more information, here: http://www.olbrich.org/events/leafmulch.cfm

5.  Lackluster Landscaping? Contact our team for inspiration! The process starts by identifying your personal needs, and wants – with a thorough evaluation of your current situation. We will design the most efficient, eye-catching, and inspirational ideas to solve your landscaping problems.

Adding a Memorial to Your Garden: Our team feels a permanent tribute in honor of a Veteran or loved one (person or pet!) may be an inspirational idea to consider this Memorial Day weekend. A Memorial garden can be as simple as planting a tree or bush to honor someone special, or displaying flowers blooming in red, white, and blue. Here’s a few more ideas:

Incorporate plants with special meanings. Baby’s breath shares a feeling of innocence and gentleness, while Easter lilies symbolize faith and new life. Amaranth means everlasting beauty, and Rosemary stands for remembrance.

Keep it manageable in a small space. Use just a corner of your yard, a container on your porch or deck, a box on the balcony of your apartment or condo.

Plant using a unique theme. Grow a garden for butterflies, birds, or design around the shape of a heart.

Make it personal. Be sure to include a stepping stone, statue, or bench.