Wotsitlooklike – March 2021

As a new gardener, you know what would be really helpful? Pictures of plants at different phases of their growth over the course of all the seasons. It would be reassuring to know what they look like at different times outside of “looking their best” so us new people don’t carry unnecessary anxiety over whether we’ve killed something when it’s just going into dormancy.

I haven’t been able to really find a good place on the interwebs that does this (if you know of such a place, please share!), so I’m going to try to become what I would like to see so I can at least reassure myself over time.

March is the first month here in Zone 6b of the Midwest that you get to see things (above ground) at the beginning of their growth. So this morning on walkabout, I took pictures to share what everyone is looking like at the very earliest part of the growing season.

I’d like to do this sort of plant recap each month. I hope it’s helpful. You’re welcome.

English Bluebells and Early Snowdrops beneath the pines, bulbs planted Oct 2020.
‘Endless Summer’ Hydrangea plant purchased early July 2020.
Fall Blooming Crocus Mixture, bulbs planted early Sept 2020.
New growth on ‘Cat Mint’ Nepeta plant. Seeds started indoors April 2020, transplanted summer 2020.
New growth on Rosemary plant, overwintered with only leaves as mulch. Indoor seed start April 2020.
Shasta Daisies, direct seed sow outdoors late summer 2020.
Angelique Tulips and French Perfume Hyacinths, bulbs planted Oct 2020.
(Spot A)
Angelique Tulips and French Perfume Hyacinths, bulbs planted Oct 2020.
(Spot B, pointing at two sprouts)
Angelique Tulips and French Perfume Hyacinths, bulbs planted Oct 2020.
(Spot B, not pointing)
Big Impact Allium Mixture, these two were the first to show up.
Big Impact Allium Mixture, all bulbs planted Oct 2020.
Big Impact Allium Mixture, most recent sprouts.
Close up of one of the Allium sprouts.
Pristar White Bellflower bought on clearance in August 2020 made it through the winter!
‘Bloody Cranesbill’ Geranium, bought as small plant late July 2020.
Coral Bells ‘Sweet Tart’ (best guess at variety). Came with the house. Much happier since being relocated last year!
Mass of Foxgloves ‘Gloxiniiflora blend,’ direct sow June 2020.
‘Dalmation Peach’ Foxglove, bought as a small plant and transplanted August 2020.
‘Carnival’ Hollyhocks, direct sow early July 2020. These were MUCH bigger end of season last year, so I’m curious to see how they develop this year.
‘Carnival’ Hollyhocks, direct sow early July 2020.
Russian Sage, cluster of 3 bought as plants early Aug 2020. I think I’m supposed to cut them back right about now…
Perennial Sweetpeas, late direct sow early July 2020.
Astilbe, came with the house. I love how it looks like nothing at the start of the season but explodes into leaves and flowers in bloom. I need to cut it back.
Veronica “Venice Blue” Speedwell, purchased as a plant late July 2020.
Munstead ‘English’ Lavender. Bought as a small plant late July 2020.
Fair Maids of France, direct sow Oct 2020. I can’t believe they called these ‘bulbs,’ they were so small!
New buds on Clematis Viticella (best guess at variety). Clemmy came with the house. Relocated early May 2020. Super happy in new location.
One of two ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ Peonies, originally planted as bareroots in 2018 and relocated in 2020. Both are dead as a doornail after this winter.
‘Days Blue’ Fall Asters, bought as a plant late July 2020. Appears quite dead, donnit? Let’s keep an eye out.
‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum, bought as a plant late July 2020. Also appears dead.
“Pink Cotton Candy” Lambs Ear, purchased as a plant late July 2020. Appears on its way to dead, but still has some greenery at the base.
Harlequin Magenta Beardtongue, bought as a plant early Aug 2020. Appears mostly dead, though there is some greenery holding out on the lower right.
CranRazz Butterfly Bush, bought as a plant early Aug 2020. Seems to be coming back from the dead with pushes of new green leaves that have been frost-nipped.
The Hostas I got from a friend in 2018 currently look non-existent. Only the long stick-looking fronds laying about give a hint of their location.
‘Gene Boerner’ Rose bought as a bareroot from Aldi’s in 2019. It’s been a successful bloomer!
Close up of ‘Gene’ with new red-colored buds emerging all over the place.
This ‘Climbing Peace’ Rose purchased from Lowe’s in 2018 has been a mixed bag. Lots of climbing growth but never any buds or blooms. Relocated it here in June 2020. I think it will need to be pruned back entirely and see what happens.
Rose of Sharon tree, came with the house. I love how this thing bursts into bloom in summer!

Preparation for this last winter was minimal, mostly because I’m new and not quite sure what all I’m supposed to do, and I’m not eager to rush out and buy-all-the-things. So all I did was cover all of the plants (or the bases of) or bulb beds with leaves we raked up from the yard. The leaves were not broken down or mulched, they were simply dumped into the garden beds and distributed. The Bluebells and Snowdrops already had a bed of pine needles over them. Clemmy had no protection.

When the bulbs were planted, I used a basic fertilizer at the time they were planted.

Seeds that were sown last year but the plants are MIA are: Lobelia, Verbena, Purple Coneflower.

Lastly, there are THINGS-I-DIDN’T-PLANT-AND-I-DON’T-KNOW-YET-WHAT-THEY-ARE-BUT-THEY’RE-PRETTY:

Lovely little white ground cover around the edge of the pine tree bed.
Attempted close up of the little whites.
Lovely little 4-petaled purple flowers dapple the yard in various places

If you know what either of the plants above are, leave a comment below to tell me!

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