Starting the new season with dirty hands

I was tempted to call it a day after pressing the start button on the dishwasher around 10:15pm this evening, but something didn’t feel right. It was the first day of spring, still 65F late in the evening, and I hadn’t done a thing in the garden. I looked down at the three small plants that rested on the back of the kitchen sink and decided there was still time to get my hands in the soil.

I grabbed the three plants — provided by Angela Treadwell-Palmer of  Plants Nouveau to participants in the Garden Writers Association meeting at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show on March 10 — and headed out to the back patio. The plants, one Hydrangea, a Phlox and a Stokesia, had tripled in size in the ten days since I received them. Roots had started to grow from the bottom of the 2″ growers pots. It was time to transplant them into something larger. I grabbed a few spare 6″ nursery pots, some compost and quickly potted them up into new homes.

Hydrangea macrophylla Everylasting™ Revolution


Phlox paniculata ‘Thai Pink Jade’


Stokesia laevis ‘Elf’

I’ll likely grow these plants in the nursery pots for a while longer, giving them a chance to establish themselves before finding them a more permanent home in the garden.

The neighbors may have wondered what was going on so late in the evening, but I’m certainly glad I got my hands in the soil on this first day of the new season.

Many thanks to Plants Nouveau for providing these sample plants to GWA members in Chicago.

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Christopher Tidrick

Be real. Love always. Share beauty. Lead well. Learn more.

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