Spring 2014 Landscaping Newsletter

Ok, so Mother nature has reminded us who’s in charge. The bitter cold, constant snow, and massive tree destruction affected us all. If my kids had one more day off, I told them that they would need to build a fort outside and fend for themselves. They’re good kids, but still kids, and I was sick of hearing my mean voice. I started locking the door after I kicked them out in the snow. No you can’t have any more #$%$# hot chocolate!!!

Kids with flowers on their heads Kids being silly with flowers on their heads in the gardens

Scott walking in a creekSpring is going to be extra special this year, so this weather has actually been a blessing in disguise. Things are going to explode once the snow melts and the ground thaws, but there is a lot of cleanup to be done! If you didn’t lose any trees or large branches, consider yourself lucky. We lost SO much, which means I need to buy more trees:) There’s only so much you can control in life, so remember that in nature, rebirth follows devastation. Opportunity arises out of destruction, and it can make you see things from a whole different perspective. Unfortunately for Scott, that means crazy wife=more plants.

On the day of armageddon, we actually were scheduled to go to visit my in laws in Florida, so we ended up somehow making it out of our driveway, and not having to use a chainsaw to make our way to the airport. What a ride, and since we had no power for one week, it ended up being perfect timing (Sorry to rub it in). Scott and I did some swamp walking, and I cannot tell you how beautiful native Florida is. Great plants, lots of gators, and fabulous bird watching. Such a treat to be in a tropical environment, but with a sense of dread knowing what we were returning to. We returned to a 34 degree house with no power, camped out in the living room by the fireplace for a couple of days, and thought about how much we take for granted. Good story to look back on though.

Butterfly in the garden Butterfly in the grass

This season I really want to focus on planting loads of native milkweed. I plant a lot of it anyway, but there has been such a loss of the plant that there was NOT ONE Monarch butterfly in my yard this year. Milkweed is both the larval and host plant for the Monarch, and because the plant grows wild in most fields, it has become a target of large scale pesticide farmland management. This affects us all on a larger scale. We poison our fields before and during the growing season, which in turn shows up in the water that we drink and in the food that was grown. Unless organic, everything you put into your body has been grown with pesticides or GMOs, so we have created a toxic situation for all life. In a few years, if not sooner, we may never see Monarchs again in this area, and that is a fact. We’ve created many challenges against nature, and we all know who wins that battle:) So if you have an area that gets some good sun, let’s add some.

So the deer...NEVER have they been so bad. They are adapting to the plants they never touched before, so my job just got a lot harder, and your gardens a lot thinner. I think we all need to start hunting in our backyards and making the deer a staple of our diet? I’ll be checking in with you about what they are now eating at your property so we can plan how we’ll deal with it. They hate milkweed:)

Yellow flowers showing in early spring and snow on the groundRight now there is still snow on the ground in the beginning of March as I am writing this, but if you want some instant spring right now, there are some ways to satisfy the longing. Pansies in pots can take the freezing temps. Cut some forsythia or cherry and put some in a vase. They’ll bloom in a couple of days. Go visit an arboretum in the area and see the Witch Hazel trees blooming, plus the bulbs that are just starting to burst out of the snow. Let’s get in touch and talk about plants! I still have some deer proof plants up my sleeve. Listen to the birds when you’re outside, because they know it will be spring soon, and they are singing their mating songs. Put your face in the sun, because it feels good and warm. Go to our website (kmgardens.com) and browse pictures of plants and natural stone designs. Scott’s had some fabulous stonescapes he’s done that just makes me want to do more on our own property.

Retaining wall with small pink flowers Stone Porch with table and chairs Patio with Chairs and lots of flowers

Stone PatioWe will also be posting pictures and ideas on our facebook page on a regular basis during the season, so check that out also.(KM Gardens Inc.)

One of the best things about this area is the fact that we have 4 very distinct seasons, and I personally love that. The constant change regenerates, and keeps us humble.

Think spring! Kirsten and Scott

Kirsten MacLaughlin Gardens
590 Rock Raymond Rd. Downingtown, PA 19335
(610) 476-5892
KMGardens Facebook

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