Why wait for spring when you have MARch? That’s my motto. Every day that the sun is out this month is an opportunity to visit your garden, and see what’s new or needing attending. That said, with the harsh winter behind us, assessing the winter damage is an important part of jump-starting the season. The sooner you know what needs to be done the faster you can get in and get out.

Snow and ice may have caused your evergreen shrubs to spread open and/or collapse but you’ll be surprised how strong they are and how they can bounce back. Mine sure took a beating, but I’m not giving up on them. Here’s the secret: Allow the snow to melt completely before you try to put them back into their proper shape. Trying to remove frozen ice and snow will only damage them as right now they are at rest and rather brittle. Be patient.

MARch also happens to be a good time to clean out your birdhouses. Do you like the idea of moving into a dirty place? Neither do they. This is also a good time to repair fencing, arbors, or trelliswork that may have weakened or broken. Doing this now, before plants start leafing and filling out into their spring wardrobe, provides you easier access to places that will later be obstructed.

Rosebrook Gardens is like any other four-season garden, as it too has suffered the elements of Old Man Winter and Jack Frost. When you add to that the many workers needed to install my new roof, their dumpster, a port-a-potty on the lawn, several feet of snow, and a schnauzer in search of the right pooping spot and – yikes! – you can say that I officially have a “mess”. Truth be told, it’s all even more inspiration for me to tend to spring chores now versus later. Plus, if I order replacement shrubs now, I get in before the rush and guarantee myself the best selection. Why don’t you do the same?

So MARch on out into the garden – enjoy the sunshine and you’ll be surprised what you can do now.