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Don't think that because our spring temperatures have been cool this year, that planting must wait. Most plants prefer to go into the ground early. While your sitting in the house waiting for the ground to warm, they're growing. I start planting roses and shrubs as soon as the frost is out of the ground. After planting I throw some mulch, pine needles or leaves over the plants crown for protection in case of a hard freeze. I never use straw as it stays too wet and harms the plant. By planting early, these new introductions to the garden will leaf out in their new home and suffer no transplant shock.

In the spring my ground is usually very wet. When planting I step lightly, and don't tromp the ground in a lot. I sometimes use a two-foot piece of light plywood to stand on when digging larger holes. It disperses the weight and I don't make deep footprints. I've already planted roses, and a new dwarf Caryopteris called 'First Choice'. When I planted a new Campanula, I also replaced some Helenium 'Rotgold' that someone pulled up weeding last year. I admit that they have a resemblance to goldenrod shoots in the early summer to the untrained eye. But they are so lovely when the soft sprays of flowers bloom in September. By pinching them, as you would a Chrysanthemum, a couple of times in the summer, they become bushier and produce more flowers. In a shade area I planted more Primrose including the P. vulgaris, P. 'Julianna' and P. aricula which are long-lived varieties. The first two like to be tucked in near a rock or a wall. They really need well-drained soil. The P. aricula do not tolerate water, so I mulch with pea gravel to promote better drainage.

Gardeners are always concerned with late frost and the damage it can do. The plants likely to be hurt are Dicentra (Bleeding Heart), Fritilaria maxima (Crown Imperial) and Lilium (true lilies). As these first poke their noses through the ground the flower buds are in the tip and are very tender. The plant isn't harmed and will continue to grow, but the flower bud is damaged and does not mature, therefore no bloom. So those are the plants I cover with boxes when a late hard frost is predicted. The last frost date for planting annuals is May 12th, but there are exceptions. Some annuals are not bothered by frost, such as Cosmos, Centaurea cyanus (Bachelor Buttons), Nigella, Larkspur and Stocks. In fact Nigella and Larkspur although annaul are superior if sown in the fall. These tiny little seedlings have withstood our winter and snow, and are showing no ill effects.

Remember, planting early in the spring while plants are dormant, gives you a head start in your garden. And your plants will thank you for it.

GUARANTEE: Each order we send will be filled with stock of fine quality, packed with care to reach you in good live growing condition. If you are not entirely satisfied, return it at once for refund minus postage.

We are not responsible to replace plants that have failed due to conditions beyond our control such as possible neglect, weather, growing conditions or the lack of experience on the part of the gardener.

A Word About Native Plants: We offer many native varieties because we like them, but we do not collect them from the wild. We grow them from cuttings or seeds, and are listed as Native.

Prices subject to change.

, 2005.

To order, go here: How to Order, or email with your questions.

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Last updated 2005 March 5.

See A Woodland Rose Garden for Kent Krugh's garden.