After the winter season, I assume that some of the plants in my yard have died because they look so terrible. Many of the shrubs, such as mountain laurels and hydrangeas, look bare and bleak. I walk around hoping to see some sign of life, but most of these shrubs don’t show that.
One way to judge if a shrub is alive is to scrape the bark with my fingernail. If it is green under the outer layer, then the plant is alive! I scraped many branches of shrubs and I was thrilled to see the green. Yet a Lacecap hydrangea wasn’t even showing much green under the bark, so I had given up on it. I was thinking of digging it up and replacing it with something else this spring —until about two weeks ago. I looked very closely and I could see tiny buds forming. Last week I saw leaves unfolding! That taught me that patience is essential in gardening. Don’t make a hasty judgement!
Another plant that is reviving this month is Russian Sage, an exquisite perennial that almost looks like lavender. Last summer was the first time I had planted three of them. They all grew well and produced tiny blue flowers on tall green spires. Then winter came. I wasn’t sure if I should cut them back to the ground, so I did nothing. The remnants of these plants looked dead, but I have been waiting to see if anything would happen. My patience was rewarded recently with tiny green leaves forming at the base of the plant. I was amazed to see this. This spring and summer my patience will be rewarded again with magnificent blooms of many shrubs in my yard, including the exquisite mountain laurels, shown with peonies in the photo above.