Hello, Fellow Gardeners!

Happy May and Summer has arrived!

In My Garden
The spring blooming flowers are fading and the early summer bloomers are almost ready to put on. a show. My David Austin English Rose has begun to bloom. I love the delicious pink color, the golden stamens, and the billowy romantic abundance of petals
An image of...Mary Rose a David Austin English Rose
My favorite David Austin Rose, Mary Rose, has just begun to bloom.
An image of...Northern Blue Flag
Northern Blue Flag (Iris versicolor) first blooms. Photo by Donna L. Long.
What to Plant Now: Food Crops
This week marks the last possible date (May 15th) for spring frost in the Philadelphia area. This is the time to plant by direct seed or transplants the food crops that can’t tolerate any frost. This would be tomatoes, watermelons, melons, summer squash, peppers, eggplants, corn, cucumbers, beans, and pumpkins.

You can still direct seed or transplant carrots, beets, and warm-weather tolerant lettuces. But, I find that this is too late to still plant the cole crops like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc. The weather warms up so fast, these cool weather crops will bolt (go to seed) in the blink of an eye.

Flowers and other ornamental plants can be planted now. The weather isn’t so hot it will stress the plants out.
My garden this afternoon. Photo by Donna L. Long.
My garden this afternoon, May 16, 2019. Photo by Donna L. Long.
Pruning Back Rhododendrons and Azaleas
If your azaleas have finished blooming, you have up until two months after blooming to trim the shrubs back. Here is a 2 minute YouTube video from the Illinois County Extension Service which explains how to trim or prune your rhododendrons and azaleas.
https://youtu.be/5v7A_yWZcrw
Sedum Autumn Joy (Sedum spectabile). Photo by Donna L. Long.
Sedum Autumn Joy (Sedum spectabile). Photo by Donna L. Long. This great plant is interesting in every season. It blooms in late summer through autumn. Read about it at
http://www.perennials.com/plants/sedum-autumn-joy.html
Summer Phlox (Phlox panicuata) blooms in July. Photo by Donna L. Long.
Summer Phlox (Phlox panicuata) blooms in July. Photo by Donna L. Long.
Tall White Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) almost ready to bloom. Photo by Donna L. Long.
Tall White Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) almost ready to bloom. Photo by Donna L. Long.
Garden Events
The PHS website has a garden events calendar for our region at https://phsonline.org/events?event-type=11
This page on the PHS website has a downloadable calendar of events for 2019 https://phsonline.org/events/phs-programs-and-events-guide

Tree Tenders
https://phsonline.org/programs/tree-tenders/
PHS (Pennsylvania Horticultural Society) still has Tree Tender Workshops for 2019. At Tree Tenders Workshops you join a community of gardens and civil minded fellow citizens. You also learn about tree biology and caring about proper tree stewardship. I must admit seen I have much of the training and experience with habitat restoration, I didn’t take the workshops. But, I have more control of my schedule and now plan to take a workshop.

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve - Invasive Species ID and Workshop
https://bhwp.org/item/invasive-species-id-and-management-2/
Bowman’s Hill is holding an invasive species workshop where you can learn to identify and remove invasive species. Some times it is not as simple as pulling up a plant. I had to learn to eradicate invasives in my habitat restoration training. Sometimes it seemed each plant had a different removal technique that doesn’t accidentally encourage it to grow more. Once you help clear an area of forest from invasive privet, English Ivy, Porcelain vine, garlic mustard, etc. you might become a hardcore native plant evangelist like me.
For instance, when removing vines like English Ivy or Porcelain berry, I was taught to cut the vines at the ground and about five feet above ground. If you cut the vine off at the ground and leave long vines dangling the ground pruning will grow and latch onto the dangling vines and grow up the vines. The dangling vines will become the support for new growth.
Here is a YouTube video that shows the horrors of English Ivy infestation. https://youtu.be/FkAJcdX7eCo

Meadowbrook Farm
Have you been to Meadowbrook Farm? Strangely enough, I haven’t. I live about ten minutes from it. I will be going there this summer. Visit the website to see just the events available. On Thursdays, Meadowbrook has a series of gardening programs. Meadowbrook is a PHS garden and if you are a PHS member you receive a discount on program fees.
https://meadowbrookfarm.org/
https://meadowbrookfarm.org/calendar/thursday-gardening-series

I hope this newsletter has been useful. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Expect the next garden update about June 16th.
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Nature in summer is bursting at the seams with life and activity. Let's get started on this season's nature study. Now we have the warmest time of the year with high temperatures, long hot days and uncomfortable warm nights. Summer for me, always has had a laid-back easiness. And a mañana attitude that things can get done tomorrow. I'll give …
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Nature in Summer: An Overview

gill mushrooms. Photo by Donna L. Long