Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Good Start

Despite trouble posting pictures, which as extinguished my interest in blogging temporarily, I've gotten a lot done in the garden.

Finally took out the Japanese honeysuckle, ready for a rose and a clematis
Refreshed the front of the side front garden, pulling out lots of day lilies and Goldsturm rudbeckia, adding soil conditioner and transplanting the Tomato Soup echinacea
Finally rooted out the last of the barberry
Moved the trellis from the side of the house to the mailbox, and planted morning glories and scarlet runner beans along one side; waiting to see if the cardinal climber vine from last summer starts to pop up in its former location
Best of all, and hardest of all, laid out the new sunny garden in front down from where the dogwood used to be and the butterfly bush is now

Here's a look before the plants went in:

It was incredibly hard to do this the hard way, which is what I chose. I edged the whole thing (8' x 8' plus the existing bed for the butterfly bush), then sliced it into sections and lifted up the sod with a straight-edged spade. When Adrian Higgins refers to "skimming off the sod," he is deluding you. It was backbreaking. Nevertheless...

This new bed is meant to be sunny, high, and wild, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds, and mostly made up of native plants. The color scheme is blue, pink and yellow with just a touch of white. Planted to date are:
Boltonia asteroides 'Snowbank'
Salvia gregii 'ultra violet'
Lavandula media 'grosso'
Helianthis 'Lemon Queen'
Aster laevis 'Blue Bird'
Agastache 'Blue Fortune'
Schizachyrium scoparium 'The blues'
Pennisetum alopecuroides (fountain grass)
Eupatorium purpureum subsp. Maculatum 'Gateway'
tulipa 'General de Wet'

(The latter two, by the way, did indeed make a pretty pair, the orange softened by the blue and they bloomed at the same time by some miracle.)

Becky kindly picked up a lot of these at Colesville for me. I was worried about the Joe Pye weed, which was nothing but a dead stick, so I sank the pot into the ground in case I had to return it. But patience is rewarded - it's now got about an inch of new growth. Hard to believe it will grow to six feet, but stranger things have happened.

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