Weeds. Mowing. I don't mind mowing until I get to the curbside. The sand and salt the plow throws on the area during the winter often leave us with a problem area that is more grit than soil, more weeds than grass. How to improve the area has led me to look at the boulevard or street-side garden concept. I've begun to dig deeper into the idea of making this change in my front yard. I wondered about what plants would work best, if the city had any special regulations and how to best cope with the sand and salt.
Winter burn can be a serious problem for evergreens. After the cold and windy winter we had, signs of winter burn abound on evergreen shrubs and trees. There are some broadleaved evergreens such as azaleas and rhododendrons in our zone 3 area, but most of our evergreens have needles. The most obvious symptom of winter burn is browning of foliage on the south, southwest, and windward sides of plants. Sometimes, however, the plant appears bleached by the sun. Also obvious is how deep the snow was around evergreens.
Since 1932, the All-American Selections (AAS) committee has evaluated new varieties of seeds. Test gardens are spread across the country and entries with the highest scores are given the AAS Award. This year, in additional to the national awards, they are giving regional recognition as well. As we Zone 3 gardeners well know, not all the wonderful plants we see in the catalogs will grow here. Most of this year's choices can be grown in containers. While it's probably a little late to start the tomatoes from seed yourself, they might be found at your favorite greenhouse.