The unseasonably warm weather continues throughout the country and especially here in Oklahoma, and my new bare root roses have arrived from David Austin, so nothing left to do except begin the Spring garden ritual….and I’m ready! We are beginning our march into Spring though we will have some frosts to contend with so exercise caution with new tender plantings. Now is the perfect time to install new landscape plantings – trees, shrubs and bare root roses – hardy perennials are ready to go in now as well. 

Get busy, do some planning, scout the nurseries for plants to use in the garden, but first get the cleanup chores out of the way while you wait for the last freeze date to arrive. This is also a wonderful time of the year to get inspired by beautiful garden designs you admire. I always tell people landscape design is nothing without a great hardscape plan…I will tempt you with a few ideas below…they take your garden to the next level 

Top things to do in March 

• Late February and early March is the optimal time to perform most Spring Clean up and pruning tasks – do this now and you won’t prune off beautiful new growth – if you procrastinate you will. 

• Prune your roses in early March – apply a systemic feed / insecticide at the base of the bushes – love the Bayer 3-in- system product.

• Prune and edit trees 

• Prune / cut back evergreens which need to be maintained – hollies and yew – but please don’t use electric shears – try to avoid pruning if at all possible – if the right plant is in the right spot it should need only minimal pruning….try to avoid the “lollipop” effect as this will require a lifetime of difficult maintenance. 

• Please do not prune the tops of your tree form crepe myrtles - when I see this form of Crepe Murder I just cringe…..this tree will never look the way it was intended to look once this is done – please don’t do this to your crepe myrtles. If you see the guys that mow your grass come near your crepe myrtles with pruning shears or clippers send them away! 

• Cut back all forms of ornamental grasses – Liriope, mondo, sweet flag, and tall ornamental grasses. 

• Secure climbing rose canes – they are getting ready to put out lots of fresh new growth and canes. 

• Feed cool season grasses like fescue and rye with fertilizer and for extra dark green grass I like to add an application of ironic. 

• Bring the pansies you planted last fall back to life after our long icy winter by removing the dead foliage and then a boost with water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Grow. 

• If you are like most gardeners, you can’t resist strolling through the nurseries looking for old favorites and new varieties alike.Always fun to see the new Proven Winner selections, I like to incorporate these into containers because it’s an easy and safe way to try them out. 

• In Oklahoma, our last freeze date is early mid-April – so before that only hardy plants get planted but after April 15, you should be safe to plant tender annuals and vegetables for your summer garden. 

• Spring plantings of perennials, annuals, rose bushes, shrubs and trees is in full force. 

• Take photos to remember color combinations of pansies and tulips for the upcoming fall when it’s time to plant them again. 

Best of the Season 

• Green fescue and rye blends of grass looking lush and dark green 

• Pansies & Tulips in full display 

• Flowering trees like crab, redbud, whitebud 

• Flowering shrubs like forsythia, snowball, viburnum are just coming on 

• Spring Perennials – creeping phlox, dianthus, candytuft

Love this beautifully designed pergola and the garden bed bordered with clipped box and tulips

This path is decomposed granite...Look how effective the clipped boxwood is leading up to the urn filled with my favorite lavender. 

Love the garden path...and the salvia is spilling over - who does't want to adopt that lab?

Urns overflowing with flowers- so much more of an impact when resting atop the stone columns

More decomposed granite, topiary boxwood and planters - this design is so effective

Does anything look better than a large grouping of terra cotta pots with topiary pruned boxwood...yes...sitting atop decomposed granite in a French courtyard!

Even a small water feature like this can steal the show - who needs a big swimming pool? 

Enjoy the first month of Spring - and if you want to see more inspiring garden designs, check out my Pinterest design boards. 

http://pinterest.com/terrydcarlson/




Happy Gardening -

All My Best -

Spring is definitely in the air, and if you have walked through your garden then you have seen all buds ready to pop and fresh green growth on your roses, perennials and ornamental grasses. The pansies are waking up after their winter nap and the tulips have emerged and will be blooming this month.

Top things to do in March

  • Late February and early March is the optimal time to perform most Spring Clean up and pruning tasks – do this now and you won’t prune off beautiful new growth – if you procrastinate you will.
  • Check the February blog on things to do in February – do those this month if you didn’t do them last month.
  • Feed cool season grasses like fescue and rye with fertilizer and for extra dark green grass I like to add an application of ironite or milorganite.
  • Bring the pansies you planted last fall back to life after our long icy winter by removing the dead foliage and then a boost with water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Grow.
  • If you are like most gardeners, you can’t resist strolling through the nurseries looking for old favorites and new varieties alike Always fun to see the new Proven Winner selections, I like to incorporate these into containers because it’s an easy and safe way to try them out.
  • In Oklahoma, our last freeze date is mid-April – so before that only hardy plants get planted but after April 15, you should be safe to plant tender annuals and vegetables for your summer garden.
  • Secure climbing roses and vines – they will grow twice as fast – don’t let them languish on the ground or flop around in the wind.
  • Take photos to remember color combinations of pansies and tulips for the upcoming fall when it’s time to plant them again.
  • Don’t be afraid to prune….but please avoid the hedge / lollipop effect – use hand pruners and selectively prune your shrubs to keep them at just the right size and tight.
  • Prune / cut back evergreens which need to be maintained – hollies and yew – but please don’t use electric shears – try to avoid pruning if at all possible – if the right plant is in the right spot it should need only minimal pruning….try to avoid the “lollipop” effect as this will require a lifetime of difficult maintenance.
  • Do Not prune the tops of your tree form crepe myrtles - just edit limbs as needed
  • I have seen so many examples of bad pruning, resulting in many beautiful shrubs being more or less ruined. It can be very difficult for shrubs to come out of the shock of the hedge effect.

When I see this form of Crepe Murder I just cringe…..this tree will never look the way it was intended to look once this is done – please don’t do this to your crepe myrtles. If you see the guys that mow your grass come near your crepe myrtles with pruning shears or clippers send them away!

Best of the Season

  • Green fescue and rye blends of grass looking lush and dark green
  • Pansies & Tulips in full display
  • Flowering trees like crab, redbud, whitebud
  • Flowering shrubs like forsythia, snowball, viburnum are just coming on
  • Spring Perennials – creeping phlox, dianthus, candytuft

Mix of white tulips with shades of violet pansies and white for the tie in

Giant Darwin Tulips – Pink and Apricot Impression with a blue mix of pansies

Warm colors of citrus

If you love or Hyacinths or if you aren’t sure what they are …. Check out the massive planting at Classen Curve in front of the 501 café….the fragrance is beyond intoxicating!

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -