Monday, May 04, 2009

New Perennial Bed

I secretly plan to replace the entire front lawn with an English cottage garden style wonderland, but after digging up the latest flowerbed, I realize we'll never get it done on our own. We'll have to hire some serious help to dig all that sod.

We did have the foresight to hire Ian's brother, Trevor, to help with the latest project, and between the three of us, it took 4-1/2 hours to remove the sod and dig amendments into the soil. I then spent another 1-1/2 hours digging more amendments into the soil to prepare for planting.

The soil could still use MORE amendments, but after 1 huge bag of peat, 4 bags of manure and 12 bags of topsoil, this is as good as it gets for this bed. I'll mulch it in the next couple weeks, and eventually the mulch will break down and enrich the soil, but I think these plants will be just fine until then. I tried to select plants that can tolerate clay, so having slightly wet feet shouldn't kill them.

this year's big project

I grew some of the plants from seed and purchased the remainder. There are only so many types of perennials that can be grown from seed, and I don't want to be restricted to only those plants for the rest of my gardening career!

We've got foxglove, goldenrod, bee balm, garden phlox, coreopsis, stargazer lilies and some white paper cups.

butterfly weed starter

The white paper cups are protecting the coneflower and butterfly weed starter plants. It's best to slip these cups (with bottoms cut out) over all types of starters to keep them from getting sun-scorched or eaten by naughty insects that like to prey on the weak.

Coneflower is really easy to grow from seed and germinates with a high success rate. Butterfly weed is a little more difficult, but the plants are pretty strong. I suspect I will lose one of the four I planted though.

The sky decided to let loose with a torrential downpour last night around 9pm, so Ian and I had to rush outside to cover the little starters with upside down pots. They would definitely have been pelted to death with all that water!

We are planning on edging the bed with some type of flat rock, and I need to find some purple Veronica. After that, it will be finished! I guess I should cut the roses back a little more too, so the plants have a bit of growing room.

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