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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – April 27

It’s so exciting to watch the perennial garden wake up in the spring. Plants that looked winter-worn or dormant two weeks ago are putting on daily growth. Only the most heat-loving perennials such as the hardy hibiscus are taking their time to emerge.

From a distance perennial gardens look alive and growing and it’s tempting to focus on other garden chores such as pruning, planting and removing the last of the oak leaves. I’ve learned that leaving perennials to themselves at this time of year is a mistake, however, because they aren’t the only plants that are waking up.

Weeds are also growing, many of them in and among our favorite garden plants. At this point these invaders are easy to spot and depending on how long they’ve been in the garden, they might be a bit easier to remove. Ignore them and they will not only become more entrenched…they’re likely to multiply before you can say, “How did it get to be the end of the summer already?”

Or before you can say, “Where did these weeds come from and how can I get them out of this phlox/dianthus/bee balm?” At this time of year taking a closer look at the perennial garden, and pulling out those baby weeds, is time well spent.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve often found that dealing with problems when they’re small is easier than ignoring them until they are well embedded.

From a distance the perennials look to be in good shape.

But a closer look reveals many weeds that are growing in and among the more desirable plants. It's a great deal easier to remove those weeds now, when they are young, than it will be once their roots are entwined with the garden perennials.


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