Garden

Hints of Spring in Zone 5

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For the past week, St. Louis has been drearily rainy. And not even that satisfying downpour kind of rain- just a heavy, gloomy mist that keeps me from digging around outside. This is especially egregious to me because no matter how beneficial I know all this rain is, I also know that I’m damn well sick and tired of a fruitless winter (I mean, if it’s going to be cold, at least be nice enough to give me a pretty snow, okay?). I also have little spring teasers coming up which means somewhere under all the dead leaves, pine needles, and last year’s astilbe stalks are little baby hostas trying to come out.

And even more ominous, if little baby hostas are somewhere under those leaves little baby slugs aren’t far behind…

If you’re savvy on hardiness zones, you’ll note that by technicality St. Louis has been moved from zone 5 to zone 6a. This should mean that I’m able to grow slightly warmer plants. It should. But last year I got straight-up burned by a serious snap. I’m ignoring you, garden center “tropicals.” This isn’t Savannah.

And just to remind myself of what I have to look forward to (or loathe, depending on the chores cropping up), this is a bit of the yard last year.

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P.S. For those who may be wondering: We don’t clear the beds out in fall for two reasons-

  1. Sheer laziness.
  2. Despite being in an urban-ish area, we have a lot of wildlife: groundhogs, the occasional fox, hawks, lots of little finches, blue jays, and cardinals, woodpeckers (and one really well-fed feral tabby cat and obese robins). Leaving the leaves, twigs, dead stalks, and needles until spring gives this wildlife a chance to nest up and get cozy. It also allows some vital nutrients to sink into the soil which means less fertilizing catch-up work later on!
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