The weather has been unpredictable all across the country this year, but nothing says Spring like April! Fittingly, April is National Garden Month – a perfect time to get back out to the soil and get things growing again. National Garden Month is a fairly new celebration. It began as a mere week in 1987 after the National Garden Bureau and 23 other national horticultural organizations worked together to designate a week in April as National Garden Week. However, as any gardener will tell you, a week is simply not enough! So in 2003, The National Gardening Association took up the cause to extend that week to last the whole month of April. Each year since, they have sponsored the month, encouraging everyone to get outside and grow something.
Here in the Midwest, it is still too early to plant tender annuals and vegetables, but there is still plenty going on in the garden in April and plenty to do. If you planted tulips and daffodils in the Fall, this is when they will make their appearance. Early perennials will begin to bloom and roses won’t be far behind. This is a good time to divide old perennials and plant new ones and to sow seeds for cool weather vegetables. One fairly hardy little annual, the pansy, doesn’t mind cooler temperatures, and is available in a variety of cheerful colors. Plant them now as they hate hot weather!
Even if it is too soon to do much planting, April is a great time for planning. Garden centers are a good place to see what is new and what will do well in your area and, of course, a wealth of information and advice is available at your fingertips on numerous gardening sites. The National Garden Bureau website is a great place to see new varieties of plants, both flowers and edibles. Those selected as plants of the year are also featured; this year they are the Daffodil, the Pansy, the Brassica, and the Rose. The National Gardening Association website has advice on all manner of gardening topics and even features a huge illustrated database of over 700,000 plants. While you are in a gardening frame of mind, be sure to check out our Library Gardens Pinterest Board. After all, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” (Marcus Tullius Cicero)