Gearing up for 18,000 bloomers

Published on Thu, Apr 4, 2002
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Gearing up for 18,000 bloomers

by Meg Olson

Peace Arch State Park might look like it’s barely waking up from its winter nap, but park staff are already scrambling. “It’s the time of year to stress out,” laughed park manager Wayne Eden.

Park gardeners June Auld and Allison Clarke have been pruning and raking and mowing at breakneck speed. “We’ve been getting rid of all the debris from winter, raking up leaves so insects have fewer places to hide,” Auld said. The park features a collection of shaped evergreens, which need shaping in the spring. Dormant trees and shrubs, like the park’s rose garden, also need to be pruned.

The park’s lush green lawns were treated to aeration and 30,000 pounds of fertilizer in the fall and are taking off in warmer spring weather. “This is our third mow and it’s only the third of April,” Auld said. The park only fertilizes the lawn in the fall, but Auld said spring doesn’t hurt.

Next, the Peace Arch park crew will turn to weeding and tilling their signature flower beds. The 28 beds in the park will have 20 yards of manure spread, then be rototilled and raked.

“What we’re thinking about now is getting all those beds ready for 18,000 annuals coming in May,” Auld said. The flag alone takes 3,500 plants.

  • June's Tips
  • Prune dormant trees and shrubs, evergreens, roses.
  • Clean up winter debris so insect pests have less places to hide
  • Give the lawn its first mow and a good rake. If you didn’t fertilize in the fall, you could do it now.
  • Start seeds indoors and plan color schemes for flower beds.
  • Fertilize and till beds – amend soil – June recommends at least one-year old composted manure.
  • Got bark mulch? Pull it away from plant roots and fertilize before and after plant blooms. The bark robs the soil of nitrogen.
  • The most important things to be a good gardener is to be observant, get out in you garden often and catch problems before they get out of hand. Love your garden and it will love you.