Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Garden remodel continues

Tis the season, you know, for reinventing the wheel, garden-wise.  It has happened every year so far in my garden.  I guess I’ve given up vowing that it won’t.  What the heck.  We move furniture around. Why not roses and other plants?  Today after work I spent the most productive two and a half hours moving plants.  Don’t you feel thrilled with yourself when things go well and smoothly??  That was me when I came in at dark.

Working in the front garden – as everywhere – certain things must happen before certain other things can happen.  How many times have I walked past certain roses and certain empty spaces in total frustration with the status quo?  Don’t answer that.  Well, today things were moving! 

Mary Guthrie’ has been jammed between two ‘Red Ruffles’ azaleas and the Tea rose, ‘Duquesa’, literally buried under these other plants.  The damp ground made the move easy.  She was up and out in seconds and in her new home next to ‘Louis Philippe’ in minutes.  I was amazed by her large size since I’d never been able to see her where she was.  Now those big, bright pink single flowers will be much more visible.

Capitaine Dyel de Graville’ and ‘Mystic Beauty’ were in an even more awful situation.  I had planted them very close to each other (two feet apart) as babies, knowing it was probably unwise, er, definitely unwise.  The double whammy was a lack of sun, so they were looking pretty scrawny – if you could see what you were looking at.  When ‘Pink Perpetue’ moved away to Rose Petals Nursery, she left a prime space on the front circle.  The move of ‘Mary Guthrie’ left an opposing space across the path, so these were the destinations of CDdG and MB, both being kin to ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’.  After some bed preparation of MG’s former spot (lots of sand astonishingly close to the surface) I slipped the Capitaine out of the ground. Wow! He was bigger than he looked. Now he’s settled in next to ‘Duquesa’ with room in front for daylilies.

‘Mystic Beauty’ was a bit more reluctant but did submit, and on the way to the new spot, it dawned on me (palm to the forehead!) that I had planned to put MB next to ‘Duquesa’ and CDdG next to SDLM since MB is basically SDLM’s twin – just the opposite of what I had actually done.  Oh, well, move on, right?  So as I dug MB’s hole, it occurred to me that what I will have is a bank of ‘Souv de la Malmaison’ – three bushes next to each other! This could be quite a sight in full bloom!!  And MB will be surrounded by echinacea plants, because seeds have sprouted all over that area, and so many seedlings are growing there that I transplanted several over to CDdG.  This is a prime example of how a garden evolves and grows.

The azaleas got planted elsewhere, and a displaced Ilex crenata ‘Compacta Holly’ was placed in CDdG’s old spot.  And a good time was had by all!

My January hardscaping efforts finished off the edging on this corner and made a place for seven daylilies, using the last of my topsoil pile.  The bare shrub behind the daylilies is ‘Pinky Winky’ hydrangea, and behind that is ‘Mrs B. R. Cant’.  On the right is my new camellia that was potted on to a large pot since my ground is inhospitable to camellias.

The old plastic edging was allowing soil to spill out of this bed, and with more composted horse manure to be added soon I had to make a change in the edging, so I chose the same scalloped concrete blocks that I used in the new bed under the ‘Francois Juranville’ arbor.  It really wasn’t as difficult as you’d think. It took about half an hour. Those invisible bushes behind the newly planted daylilies are ‘Red Ruffles’ azaleas, looking much the worse for having been through the freeze.

As a way to hide new basal shoots from marauding squirrels, I planted snapdragons at the base of ‘Leonie Lamesch’ (above) and ‘Arcadia Louisiana Tea’ (below).  When they get bigger and bushy, I think they will offer some protection to the new cane breaks.  Speaking of squirrels, my plan to rid the garden of them was peanut butter and plaster of paris bonbons.  I read a report that hypercalcemia would result in a heart attack for the squirrel.  Alas, after I made 20 of them and put them out last Saturday I was doing more research and found an actual experiment where someone tested the lethality of these bonbons.  A squirrel was fed nothing but the bonbons for four days and didn’t die. Drat!!  Anyone need a big bucket of plaster of paris?


Lovely new growth on ‘Maman Cochet’ (above).

This is my ‘Quietness’.  Admittedly, at only one year old she has been in a less than total-sun position, so I moved her to a possibly less beneficial position on the west side of the house.  That means no sun until one o’clock in the afternoon.  Have I doomed her?  Well, possibly, but I made room for daylilies, so what’s done is done. Go for it, ‘Quietness’!!  I think it will take me all of one minute to prune her.

A Mophead (Hydrangea Macrophylla) making a break from winter.  Yay!!

‘Foxy’ Foxglove, having survived our summer, is blooming beautifully.

One of the snapdragons that I planted last winter along the front sidewalk next to the garage lasted through the summer and has become quite large this winter, and now it’s blooming beautifully, too.  I’ll have to be more lavish with my care of the new ones I have to plant, so they’ll live long and bloom again.

Remember last summer when I was dropping coneheads around the garden?  Here is one of the results.  I’m still dropping seeds around.  I really think echinacea is my favorite plant and flower.

Volunteers.  A weed at the top of the photo and ‘Victoria Blue’ Salvia seedlings.

Another Echinacea ‘Purple Coneflower’ seedling.

And a sweet viola volunteer.  Teensy, teensy blue flowers.  Love them!

David Austin’s ‘Lilian Austin’, a gift from Carol, is now in a big pot.  Hopefully, the clay pot won’t dry out too much in the heat of summer.

Newly planted daylilies. These are ‘Chinese Scholar’.  My planting plan was to keep plants of the same cultivar grouped together rather than scattering them around willy-nilly, figuring they would have a bigger impact that way.  There’s another cluster like this one nearby.

I also tried to plant the daylilies with roses of a similar color. These Dianthus chinensis (my other most favorite flower) will go under ‘Polonaise’ and some other red roses.

I’m really loving the cut in my job hours though I felt differently when it happened.  One extra hour a day is wonderful for getting a lot done in the garden before dark sets in.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, the rain gauge registered .90 inches.  Happiness is almost an inch of rain!!  


  1. Good morning Sherry ~ I'd say you've done quite a lot in your gardens and now look at all the blooms that are already happening for this year. Just lovely.

    All of the rain has been fabulous and I am so thankful for it.

    Enjoy working in your gardens ~ FlowerLady

  2. Looking good my rosie friend! Daylilies are going to be so pretty this year in your garden. We moved some around also at the nursery, for better presentation. All of the adoptees are happy and putting out new leaves, not one did the gardener cut back, so you can imagine them same size and enjoying their new homes, thank you! They and the gardener send our love~

  3. I sometimes think I move plants around a little too much, so I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one! Everything is starting to come up and we'll soon have blooms! Hooray! So glad you get off an hour early every day - it will make such a big difference to you and your garden!

  4. I love solving garden problems and rearranging plants that aren't happy. Everything will be beautiful once the show starts!!

  5. Every year I do the same thing.I move one plant to a better location,and next thing you know I'm rearranging alot more.Way more than I intended.It's a gardeners' thing,I'm sure.Looks like you've got a plan going.I love your roses!

  6. Good for you. And for some reason it makes me feel better that someone else also complains about the dang marauding squirrels. As far as moving stuff: I have yet to kill anything from moving it...the same cannot be said from leaving it where it shouldn't have been. I've dug things up just to move them over 6 inches to provide more room to a neighbor. Nobody is safe in my garden, even if you ARE in the right spot.