It's definitely one of my least favorite things on the "chores" list. But sometimes it has to be done before you can get to the fun part of gardening. Seems I've done it a lot lately and thought I was doing my best to avoid anymore of it for this season.
It was not to be. I just couldn't get away from making one more bed just a little wider and just a little longer.
While there is much being written in the blogosphere by northern gardeners elated to finally have some spring weather and rightly so, I am trying to beat the clock that is quickly moving toward the soon-to-come heat and humidity. There was a 'front' that moved through here last week which produced for us some divinely dry (no humidity) and cooler weather. At least the days start out that way in the mornings... up to 80's in the afternoons but very manageable gardening weather especially in the shade.
SO... these last couple of weeks I have spent oodles of hours (read: days) in the garden. And it's a good thing because I'm still not completely finished with my 'project list'.
There were several sort of random plants I needed to get in the ground. Random... because I bought a few of this 'n that when I was in Tallahassee last weekend. Then on Tuesday of last week I received a shipment of bare root day lilies and irises (ordered in February), a box of 50 hurricane lily bulbs from another source and some seedlings I had gotten at a gardening-talk at the local library. Random... because none of them necessarily went together. So I ended up with lots to get into the ground and lots to figure out... as far as where it was all going to end up. Keeping in mind, I had convinced myself I was finished with new projects and plant purchasing for this spring... I've been doing this since February... I'm supposed to be winding down...
Let the Designing Begin
Most of my new purchases needed a sunny home and there aren't that many options for full-sun around Hoe & Shovel.
So here I go one more time ... finding it necessary to expand another bed which means digging out sod! Ugggghhh! This time the removal was only about 3 feet wide (@ the widest point) and about 12 feet long. Here's the rub... I had just a few weeks ago dug out part of this same area and planted what you see in the above photo. It just wasn't large enough .... already.
One of the beds I enlarged last November was the intended home for the awaiting day lilies. The more I thought about it though I wasn't confident that particular location, offering dappled sunlight in the afternoon, was going to give them the amount of sun they need. Instead I put the largest majority of them in another existing bed (in the back garden- shown below)
which will give them morning sun-- then later in the day ---filtered sun. It was necessary to remove a border row of variegated liriope to make room for them. Don't worry I made a new border in my new expanded bed with what I dug up.
All this bare root ordering/planting is completely new to me. When the on-line seller says bare root --- they mean bare root... root with barely any green growth. It's sort of a learning thing so what I've decided to do is divide up each variety and plant them in completely different spots in the garden. Then I can determine where they do best. I figure surely some will survive and then I'll know under what conditions which plants succeed. (Look closely at the photo to see the slug that already found this brand new growth on one of the day lilies- I was actually taking the picture to show how quickly the greenery is shooting up-- in just 4 days) I'm happy to report some of the lilies and irises already have new growth sprouting out (above photo) after only a few days in the ground.I think enlarging this bed was worth the trouble. It has a much nicer flow giving the overall side-yard area a more complete look. Also as you can see from the opposite-angle-photo below it lends itself to blending/continuing better with the front side-yard plantings.
So here's the run down for making this bed happen:
Moved yellow Bush Daisies to group three together next to Fire Spike.
Moved Butterfly plant next to bush daisies.
Planted Louisiana Iris (bare root)
Planted Day Lilies (Bare root)
Planted Midnight Taro in place of Butterfly plant removed
Planted Illustris Taro ( split it to make two and planted on either side of Midnight)
Planted border row alternating variegated Liriope and Amaryllis
Planted seedlings of Blue Porterweed (given to me by a master gardener at the library talk on day lilies)
Sowed Rudbekia seeds
Sowed Echinacea seeds
Sowed Coleus seeds
Planted 1 white yarrow (also given to me at the library talk)Much of what I've planted is new to me. Isn't that exciting ? I've definitely stepped out of my comfort zone. There's lots of potential for color bursting forth with maturity and growth here in the next months of the growing season. I'm certain to give updates as the blooming begins!
When I bought two of the hydrangea it was my intention to put them together in the very back side of the garden. They will get quite bushy and tall. Instead I put one in the front under the oaks and among the azaleas and palmettos and one in the back. I just had to have one that I could see as I come and go out of the driveway.
Not in this bed:
Planted the two Oakleaf Hydrangea I found in Tallahassee. (I am so thrilled over finding these and the thought of having them in my garden. It was necessary to amend my soil with lime to reduce the acidity around them .... hoping with all my gardening fervor these do well here.)
Planted some Bella Donna Lilies
and the Hurricane Lilies
planted coleus and
sowed some coleus seeds
I moved several other plants around in the back gardens and made a new bromeliad bed I'll include in a post sometime in the future.
After digging the sod it's all fun stuff from there.