Tuesday, October 27, 2015

More projects

I will make sure to take before and after photos of this one, because it should be interesting:  I'm going to expand a bed under the cherry tree to cut off a spot that's annoying to mow, and make a stepping stone path that will go to each of the feeders in the tree. It'll look cooler than it sounds, I promise.

I also need to dig up my calla lily tubers.  I love these things so much in the summer, but they're just not winter hardy here in Zone 6.  They seem to do really well alongside the azaleas, so I'll repeat for a third year next year.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Done with planting for 2015

This past Friday, I planted a mess of allium and crocus bulbs before heading off on a weekend trip to the Berkshires.  Still sore.  Can't wait to see what comes up in the spring!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Well, I know what I'm doing Friday morning

I'm heading off for a weekend in the mountains around noon, and have to pack.
But first, I have to plant the box of alliums and crocus that I ordered from John Scheepers (and the bag of 100 allium I bought at Costco).  It finally came in yesterday.  That's the one (and only, thus far) thing I don't like about that company - that they don't have an online order tracking system so I can get an idea of when the box will be coming.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Well, it looks like most of the things I planted are still alive.  The sweet potato and tomato vines are not as lucky.
The sweet potatoes went from chartreuse to black just about overnight.  I did find one tuber from one I had dug up last weekend to put in a coreopsis.  Maybe there are a few others under the dead foliage that I can dig up and just start them indoors next year, rather than searching for them at the nurseries.

I do so like how they fill in spaces and provide brightness in a bed that is lacking it.  I could also think about putting in chartreuse coral bells so as to provide that brightness in a perennial form.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Weird, the weather is.

I almost dare not look at all the perennials that I planted recently, as there was a frost over the weekend.  Some of them I had just tucked in on the 17th.  Hoping that some of these purchases from Wayside Gardens made it.  I received the box on Tuesdsay, but didn't open it until Saturday.  The Weigela 'My Monet' babies looked pretty peaked, and one of the Coreopsis 'Little Sundial' had foliage that had turned completely to mush.
Usually the problem I have in not opening my boxes on time is that the plants dried out.  These were still way too wet in the box, and the nursery uses Styrofoam packing peanuts for shipping.  Brent and Becky's used newspaper, and Bluestone Perennials has ingenious waxed cardboard packing trays.

Still waiting on my John Scheeper's bulbs - I hope they make it to me before the ground freezes.  At this point, it's a crapshoot.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Into the Ground

I unexpectedly got Columbus Day off, and since the rest of my weekend got eaten up by other obligations, that was my gardening day.
I'd received my shipment from Brent and Becky's Bulbs on Thursday, so they needed to get put into the ground ASAP:

  • 10 Monarda 'Petite Delight' plants.  These went in the bed with the winterberry hollies, roses, and Andromeda.  This was advertised as a dwarf selection which will not grow as high as the species, so I put it in the front of the bed to fill in the empty space near the rocks.  If it's as prolific as the bee balm I put on the front walkway, it will fill in nicely.
  • 10 Dichelostemma - ida-maia bulbs.  I had gotten a handful of these firecrackers in a bulb mix, and my mother-in-law thought they were absolutely lovely, so I added some more near where I think the others are alongside one of the smaller iris patches. I didn't dig any of the others up, so not sure how close I got, but I hate leaving labels out in the beds.  These were pretty much the only thing that survived from that mix that I planted probably 3-4 years ago.
  • 10 Bellevalia - pycnantha bulbs.  Looks sort of like a muscari (grape hyacinth).  I put this on the front slope along with 10 Scilla - siberica 'Alba'.  I have a lot of blue squills (they keep multiplying yearly), and thought it would be nice to throw some white ones into the mix.
  • Similarly, I purchased 10 Muscari - aucheri 'White Magic' which went in where I'd removed roses earlier in the fall.  All along the edge of the driveway I have blue muscari, and I thought it'd be nice to see some white ones.  When these things multiply, and they will, I will see if I can do some mixing of the whites and blues all along the edge of the bed.
  • And finally, under the cherry tree went 10 Hyacinthoides - hispanica 'Queen of Pinks'  which will give a shot of color when the winter-damaged liriope foliage has been sheared off and is yet regrowing.  It will probably bloom just after my Fritillaria uva-vulpis.  There is aconite and squills in that bed too, so I have bulbs coming up from early through mid-spring, and the pigsqueak and Lamiastrum galeobdolon will take over as the bulbs fade.

I'm awaiting two more shipments, one from John Scheepers, and one from Wayside Gardens (estimated delivery today, in fact!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I'm sorry honey...

To my darling Husband,

I just ordered more plants today. 

Also, UPS should be delivering a box on 10/8 as a result of my 9/28 spree.

I may have a problem.

Good thing they're giving me Columbus day off, huh?

Love you,

Your Wife

Monday, October 5, 2015

Missed the window

Overcast weather is the best for taking garden photos.  This weekend was quite overcast, and I intended to take some photos of the work I did on Sunday... but by the time I'd finished up, the sun had come out.  So you don't get photos for a while again...

John over at http://www.obsessiveneuroticgardener.com/ had recommended Bluestone Perennials http://www.bluestoneperennials.com, and I have to say, I recommend them too.  They ship promptly, and the plants come in biodegradable fiber pots which they say can be planted directly.  I admit that I do remove the pots to tease the roots, since that'll give them a better start in my clay soil; but I tear apart the pots and use them as mulch or toss them in the compost bin.

I planted Veronica 'Georgia Blue' which is a lavender color; and Veronica 'Waterperry Blue' which is a more clear blue color.  These went in on the front bank above the retaining wall, as other Veronica I'd planted there - 'Whitewater' and 'Tidal Pool' - have done very well as weed-blocking and erosion controlling groundcover.  The Lamium (deadnettle) I'd started with more or less crept all the way down to the bottom of the slope, and then disappeared.  Veronica seems to make much nicer mats.

Five Salvia nemorosa 'Viola Klose' and three Geranium macrorrhizum went in along the driveway area, between the Dutch irises/Black Eyed Susans & the milkweeds.  This filled in some of the space left vacant by one of the hybrid tea roses I'd moved (By the way, those roses seem to be doing OK for now.  We'll see if they survive the winter.)  I already had some of the Geranium near that area, up a little closer to the retaining wall, which did very well; so I think this repetition of the same plant will look nice.  There are five other Salvia of a different variety ('Blue Queen') there which also did well;  the foliage is a bit different so it should be a nice textural difference.

In my order, I also received a free Anemone (I believe it was Anemone 'Honorine Jobert', will look at my pile of tags later) which is supposed to grow 3' - 4' in full sun, so I put it up by the phlox and iris next to the boulder with our street number, and took out the basket of gladiolus bulbs that had been near there while I was at it.

Speaking of milkweeds - I got a new pest this year in addition to the yellow aphids - big orange milkweed bug babies & a few of their parents.  Insecticidal soap employed, as I want these plants to be host to Monarch butterflies.  Unfortunately I did not see any Monarchs on the milkweed this year, but I've helped the fluffy seeds fly.