The Arch City Gardener

Journeys In St. Louis Gardening and Beyond


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A Closer Look at What’s Coming Up in the Garden

Here’s a close up of what’s blooming and coming up in my yard. I took these photos over the weekend, before we were hit with high winds and lots of rain.

A newcomer to the garden, I love the "freckles" on this guy.

A newcomer to the garden, I love the “freckles” on this guy.

Bloodgood Japanese Maple was the centerpiece of my gardens and the first specimen I planted in 2012. In fact, it was the first tree I had ever planted. During spring the leaves seem to change color daily.

Bloodgood Japanese Maple was the centerpiece of my gardens and the first specimen I planted in 2012. In fact, it was the first tree I had ever planted. During spring the leaves seem to change color daily.

lady's mantel april 2014

I can’t wait to watch one of the new additions to the garden–lady’s mantle. This is one of the plants I am obsessed with this year.

 

I am glad to see this shrub blooming. I see azaleas all over St. Louis and really like them, but have a hard time growing them. I plan to move my azaleas to a new location this fall in the hopes that a new spot will be better

I am glad to see this shrub blooming. I see azaleas all over St. Louis and really like them, but have a hard time growing them. I plan to move my azaleas to a new location this fall in the hopes that a new spot will be better

I moved my Frances William hostas because they were getting too much sun. The new spot has morning sun and afternoon shade. I love  the way this plant unfolds as it comes out of the ground

I moved my Frances William hostas because they were getting too much sun. The new spot has morning sun and afternoon shade. I love the way this plant unfolds as it comes out of the ground

The rhododendron got the worst of the winter and suffered lots of leaf scorch. It's blooms are beautiful though.

The rhododendron got the worst of the winter and suffered lots of leaf scorch. It’s blooms are beautiful though.

This silver mound is vigorous and hardy and is a wonderful groundcover at the edge of the patio bed.

This silver mound is vigorous and hardy and is a wonderful ground cover at the edge of the patio bed. Notice how the water droplets magnify on artemisia’s feathery leaves.

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Temperatures in Arch City were above 70 yesterday, making it a delightful day to get out into the yard and garden and enjoy a sunny spring day. Because it is early, I spent most of my time raking the lawn and getting up the leaves and twigs. The last frost date in St. Louis is April 13 and the weather forecasters are predicting cold temperatures throughout the coming week. Given the miserable winter we had, I am not taking any chances and have kept a covering of leaves around the azaleas, rhododendrons, roses and tender perennials.

scorched rhododendron (2)scorched rhodoAbout a month ago or so ago, I read an item in the garden section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about leaf scorch on rhododendrons caused by frostbite or extreme winds. At the time, it did not appear that any of my rhodos were affected by that but we then had warming and bitter freezing.  And yes, winter has left its mark on two of my P.J.M rhododendrons. On the photo on the left you can see the scorching on the leaves. This plant is the least protected from the elements, sitting on the edge of the eaves where it is more exposed to the winds, rain and ice. The plant on the far right is the most sheltered, by its neighboring shrubs and the eaves. It is fine.

I was so busy in the yard that I did not call my local gardening center. Scanning the Internet, about the only advice I have come across is to be patient and not cause any further stress on the plant, such as pruning. There are buds here as you can see but I wonder what the impact will be on the plant a year later.

Did you know rhodendrons have been around for 50 million years? Neither did I. These shrubs have been growing very nicely in their current location, so I have faith these two shrubs will be hardy enough to overcome this.

How did the winter affect your plants?