Saturday, May 9

Spring Garden Thoughts

Spring gardens reveal their wonders one group of bulbs or wildflowers at a time. In my gardens daffodile and tulip blooms are gone but giant alliums are at their peak. In addition bearded and native purple iris blooms come and go and rhododendron and azeala blooms brighten the edge of the woods. Scotch Broom blooms just at the corner of garden, not the natural bright yellow but hybrids with blooms in bright pink, orange and yellow.

Rements of wildflowers remain. but you have to know where and how to look to find them. Nestled in layers of old leaves and bits and pieces of bark are white shooting stars and deep, blue, wild delphenium. Delicate white foam flowers, yellow and white trillium, light pink cranesbill, yellow wood poppy and violet herb Robert are all in bloom. Signs of wild iris and may-apple blooms are on the way. There's a patch of pussy toes that was here when we first moved here and I protect it from some who may mistake it for a weed.

Here in zone 6 we have spring bloom early and on into late spring. The woods that were breathtaking with the bloom of wild dogwood are now full of blackberry blooms that promise lots of juicy berries and cobblers. My grandmother's made the best cobblers and I can taste the tart/sweet taste of one if I close my eyes. One made biscuit dough and the other made pie dough but they both picked wild berries and both added just the right amount of sugar and cinnimon.

When we lived in Albany, Georgia, and my children were all at home, we all picked blackberries and filled our freezer every summer. I made jam, pies and cobblers that were much like the ones my grandmothers had made. The best blackberries grew in pine groves and were easy to pick as we walked on layers of pine needles surrounding the canes and could reach the berries without being snagged on thorns. The children had to pick two quarts each before going to play and I added the 14 quarts to the freezer until the season ended. That was a lot of berries.

I later discovered the beauty of thornless blackberries and how amazing they were to grow and how easy to pick. This was after the children had all left home and I was on my own to pick, store and cook. They do still come home for the cobblers.

Gappy Gardening!


  1. Just saw your fabulous gardening book on the Oprah website. Since we share the same surname, I wanted to reach out and let you know in particular how wonderful your gardening ideas truly are!

  2. Congrats on getting featured on Oprah!

    I am your neighbor in Sullivan County... my other neighbors taught me lasagna gardening, and we all use it to create beautiful flower and veggie beds.

    Now I have 15 acres to tame over in Delaware County, NY... and will use your lasagna gardening techniques to clean up all the yard waste scrap, and grow goodies!

    Hmmm... do you know can we use pine needle rakings in a lasagna bed, or will they effect the PH too much.

    Thanks for teaching us.


    Please consider putting a free signup box for email updates on your posts... I use free email sign up boxes... they work great!

    Love to Garden,

    Pat Crosby

  3. I am now on facebook (Patricia Lanza)and hope to have a fan page up soon. My website ( is also near to being posted again. I have been so lazy about doing this but know from my email that many lasagna gardeners want to talk to me about their gardens. I do have some really big projects going on including taking control of our woods on the lake. Cars full of cardboard, newspaper and organic material is going down and truck loads of grass clippings and chopped leaves being moved to the site. I am so grateful to have the energy and strength to do all this even though I have to rest a day when I do two days of hard work. Oh yes, pine needles are a big part of my gardens as the woods are full of white pine and the needles get chipped up with grass and leaves when I am mowing. It all goes on as another layer and everything grows in my layers.