On-again, off-again rain had certainly hampered serious digging and transplanting in south-central Connecticut gardens. Check the soil in each planting bed or area before digging – if soil holds in a ball when squeezed in your fist, it’s too wet to handle. You are better off leaving it to dry a bit. Instead, focus on other gardening tasks. Now is a good time to get a head start on weeding – weeds are still small and moist soil often eases removal of the entire weed root which is essential for complete eradication.
Also, with most plants still small and most shrubs not yet completely leafed out; take stock of empty spots in your landscape. Ponder over what interesting shrub, tree, perennial, or structural element such as a large boulder, birdbath, statue, or trellis would fill or cause the eye to focus there. Take a good hard look at what you have, pay attention to where your eye automatically lands – do you like what you see or do you need to hide or create a diversion? If you have no ideas of what would work, take a few digital photos of your spot, jot down some facts (light, soil, area, what you want to hide, etc), and do some scouting. Take your photos to a trusted nursery and ask for help, or just walk through their rows of plants/shrubs/trees and imagine how those you like would work in your spot. Spark your imagination further with walks through public gardens or other large nurseries, or use the library to peruse gardening and landscape books. Once you have a few ideas, focus on the pros and cons of each – cost, maintenance, growth over time. If it’s a large scale project, can it be done in stages – a little each year – to minimize costs to your time and your bank account?
Gardening does not always require great weather …you might be surprised at how much ‘gardening’ you can accomplish without planting a thing.