Each new day is a real gardening challenge. With little rain we may be under mandatory water use restrictions by the time this goes to press. An aquifer level of 660 feet above sea level will require watering in the garden only on specific days and during a limited time period. Watering in the morning is best. It is cooler and water soaks into the soil further and helps prevent lawn diseases from forming. Watch your local news for specifics. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, use it when there is little wind. Many systems have a fine spray that can be blown away from the soil and evaporate in the air. Also check the sprinkler heads frequently to be sure they are operating properly.

 

Early April is the time to plant periwinkles and caladiums. Periwinkles prefer sunny spots while caladiums like shade. Confederate jasmine is blooming with white flowers that are very fragrant. It is a vine that is usually evergreen down to temperatures in the mid 20s. It likes sun or shade and is carried by most garden centers this time of year. See one along the fence at the corner of S. Alamo and Mission St. Other good plants for the garden include Mexican orchid tree, angel’s trumpet, and bougainvillea. The Mexican orchid is a small tree that is usually evergreen and has white flowers. It blooms heavy in the spring and a little less throughout the year. One can be seen in the park at E. Guenther and Crofton. The angel’s trumpet is becoming more common and is very unusual. It is a perennial bush that can get large but is easily trimmed. It may freeze back some but will re-sprout. Angel’s trumpet comes in pink, white or yellow. The flowers are large and trumpet-shaped and hang downward. An unusual characteristic of angel’s trumpet is that the flowers have no smell during the day but as evening approaches, give off a very strong fragrance. A yellow angel’s trumpet can be seen at the front left corner of the house at 337 Madison St. Bougainvillea
grows easily but may not fit in every garden. They prefer sun, and the larger they are, the prettier so give them lots of room. The blooms last for an extended time. They also have large thorns. Bougainvillea may freeze back in cold weather and their thorns can make trimming a hazardous proposition. A large red bougainvillea is in full bloom in the front garden at 241 King William St.

Garden Note: A neighborhood gardener friend had this to say. “Be optimistic. We are one day closer to the next good rain.”