2021 is a planting year like none we have experienced before

Tom Terry
Master gardener
Creeping Phlox, not bothered by the cold, brightens Rose Garden Park entrance.

The last two weeks have provided us with daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, ornamental pears and Redbuds blooming. They have brought beauty and hope to our drab landscape. The pansies planted at the post office bed and in front of the Centennial Clock look the best they have looked all season. Grass is beginning to turn green and weeds are growing in places we don’t want them.

On the other hand we are faced with an unknown future for many of our shrubs and trees. For example, we have two Yaupon Holly bushes on the east side of our house. One appears to be unfazed by the recent weather. The other does not have a leaf on it. We have three Carolina Cherry Laurel trees along the back fence. All the leaves on two of them are either brown or have dropped. The third tree has green leaves as if nothing unusual has occurred!

Many Nandina plants look terrible with withered leaves. Abelia bushes have a few new leaves at the top but the sides are covered with dead leaves. The advice I have heard is to wait perhaps another month or longer to let nature take its course. We had over 2 inches of rain last week. The weather is turning warmer. Perhaps that combination will produce some good results. One advice I heard is to hold off on fertilizing these ailing shrubs. That could add stress to their challenging attempt to produce leaves and growth.

In the meantime we can clean the weeds out of our planting beds. Make plans to add annuals and perennials to our landscape and perhaps plant some vegetables in raised beds or other preferred locations. Best wishes for a successful and enjoyable growing season.