Spring moving in on us very quickly

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By Cheryl Steenerson

Coming home from work and still having daylight is such a treat. The new norm is taking the dogs for a walk right after I get home.
It sure works the kinks out and we all love it.
We’ve been rambling all over the farm, looking for signs of wildlife and keeping an eye on everything showing new life.
Inside the orchard fence, the hardy kiwi look like they are ready to form up buds. My cherry tree is budding and so is a peach and pear.
The phlox is greening up and my roses are putting on new growth.
Along the fields’ edges, the yellow stargrass have already opened their yellow flames. Iris leaves are growing up like crazy and daffodils are in full bloom. I noticed all of this Feb. 28. February. Now, how weird is that?
Change is in the air, I swear. It’s like Mother Nature’s clock has speeded up. We are three weeks ahead of spring. So, we better act accordingly. Pretend April 20 is here today. The spring chores list is out.
Push back that mulch you been using to protect bulbs from freezing. Prune any deciduous trees or shrubs to the size and shape you want. Having said that, I always prune in thirds. Imagine the limb divided into three lengths. Then, cut off the outer most length, one third.
Those of you with tall ornamental grasses may want to prune those back down to 6 inches tall. Rounding out the list is birdhouse cleaning. Be sure the houses are securely attached to something. Check your feeders as well. Then, go shopping for soil and pots and anything else you need to start something growing.
This will be my first spring in 13 years without my friends at Mt. Eden Greenhouse. This last week I said goodbye to John and Anne Hagan. They did such a fine job with that greenhouse. They moved here from Chicago, not long after I had moved here from Arizona. Total strangers to the area both of us.  
Since they were just three miles down the road, out here in the boonies, we became fast friends. The first year of having the Farmers Market inside the Old Train Depot, out on Highway 127, John and I worked many a lonely afternoon together. We talked gardening and solved all the world’s problems.
I got to know Anne on my many Sunday trips for gardening supplies. They were so good about carrying things that you wanted. They seemed to know every item, every variety that someone would want and make sure they had some. Then there were always the surprise new plants, the ones John or Anne ordered just because they thought they looked cool.
Anyone who knows the Hagans, knows that they love fireworks. They have done the Thunder of Louisville show for years. Now, they are going to be working for the Zambelli’s, managing its West Coast operations. I wish them all the best, but I sure will miss them.
I am looking forward to meeting the new owners. All I know right now is about one guy named Cliff and that he does commercial landscaping development. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that he’ll keep offering seeds, supplies and flowers. Change, new life, it’s all around us and all we had to do was look. Happy Growing.

Cheryl Steenerson is the gardening columnist for The Anderson News and she can be reached via e-mail at paysteen@shelbybb.net.