Our March hardy annual garden.
This is the moment I relish in with my close connection to our farm and her seasons. It’s coming on the end of March and it has been a roller coaster ride month for sure—a few days in the high 60’s and even a 70 degree day, along with some 29 degrees nights. Oh, March is such a tease—the same every year, I just tend to forget it.
I must say I love every single day of this crazy month. Ever since I began planting hardy annuals many years ago, I have learned that this four to six weeks before the last forecasted frost date of spring (ours is April 15) is when these plants pull out all of the stops and jump into action. This is their time, not blooming yet—but getting busy taking care of safeguarding their futures. Growing deep roots like mad and beginning to grow stems and leaves. Becoming so well established is the solid rock foundation that these plants stand on to face the heat of spring and summer without ever looking back.
My other overwhelming feeling of March; I feel no pressure to hope for warmer weather to hurry up so we can plant our warm-season tender annual plants for summer. Our early spring is so full of abundant hardy annuals now that planting warm-season plants has moved from #1 priority of many years ago to #3 on our spring to do list. We are so busy preparing the hardy annuals to take off blooming that the champions of summer (zinnias, celosias, sunflowers, etc.) get planted just when they are supposed to be. When is their time? Once the soil and air temperatures are warm enough to cuddle their tender roots, just as cool temperatures do for hardy annuals to grow stronger plants.
A bouquet made of May blooming hardy annuals.
While I am walking around the farm in this season admiring these plants and their accomplishments, I find myself humming and moving to a song of my teenage years; the 1970’s disco song Ain’t no Stopping Us Now by McFadden and Whitehead. This song was their tribute to their success in spite of the many disadvantages they faced. Kind of like my Cool Flowers… the once forgotten plants that are drawing closer to their own public success as each day passing bringing spring and summer closer when they will really shine.
If you have planted Cool Flowers and want to experience pure delight with them in the garden, click here to have a listen. I’m feeling pretty sure I won’t be the only gardener/farmer dancing my way through a Cool Flowers garden!
Live and plant in the season!!
Lisa Mason Ziegler is a commercial cut-flower farmer in Newport News, Virginia; she lectures and writes about organic and sustainable gardening. You can email Lisa at [email protected] , call her at 757-877-7159 or visit her website www.shoptgw.com .
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