Just over a week ago the sun was still shining warmly in my yard & it was time for fall planting & transplanting. This is one of my favourite times of year! To be outside, enjoying the slight chill in the air, smell the autumn changes of rotting leaves & moulding mushrooms & damp earth.
I started with one of the first flower beds I had built 2 years ago on our property. It was - well, is - supposed to be my 'yellow bed' but has become overgrown & rather lost. My Helenium (the yellow 'sneezeweed' which is not one of the plants in the fall that makes one have allergies) dearly needed to be divided & spread to a couple other areas in the yard that needed a hit of fall yellow. I really hope it survives as this bed started out with 2 Helenium & 2 Black-eyed Susan plants just 2 years ago. I'm not sure what happened to the other 3 plants...
I had put in 2 very small Lady's Mantle plants in the back corners to help fill in the bed & somehow columbine was either seeded or transplanted into the corners too. My earlier notes on this process are a bit sketchy...
Last fall I had planted some lovely iris bulbs - again, in the theme of orange & yellow, so I thought while digging up the overbearing plants, I might as well find the bulbs & place them a bit more strategically in the bed. They seem to have gone missing! I did end up with a bunch of bulbs, but judging from their location - right along the front edge - they were mostly daffodils & from the back edge - tiger lilies.
After a few hours, this is what the 'remade' bed looks like. Along the back edge are now 3 smaller Helenium plants with tiger lily bulbs in between. Foxgloves in the back corners & columbine down each side. The lady's mantle is now in the front corners & along the front edge are my calendula plants, which, with a bit of water, should make it long enough to produce seeds & self-seed themselves. In the middle space I replanted bulbs. Since I'm not confident as to the identity of the bulbs, we shall see what happens in the spring. I have the feeling that they will be daffodils - which is perfect - but I really do wonder what happened to those iris bulbs.
A very small amount of plants actually went back into this bed. The rest were divided up & replanted along the front lower edge of my new front flower bed in the hopes of keeping the soil in place & filling in the bed for the first 2 years til I am able to get the proper plants in place. Lady's Mantle, feverfew & Ajuga are the 3 fillers & because they spread so quickly & take over so completely, I know I'll have to rip them out or prune them with a heavy hand starting as early as next spring!
That was last week...this week, it's raining! Finally some wet weather - but that means that I have a bit of a 'crisis' on my hands as I just received my fall plants in the mail!
It was quite a surprise, actually, to open up my small box of peonies & find that I had 10 instead of the 6 I had thought I ordered. Breck's Peony Collection is going to be a wonderful addition to my gardens, but I need a day or two to plan on the extra 4 plants & with the rain coming in sideways, I hope that they will survive a few days in the fridge. I cut holes in the bags & carefully arranged them back in the box.
Thank goodness these dormant bare roots come with planting instructions, as I've never grown peonies before & don't want to be burying my money in holes all over my yard.
Rockwood Gardens sent me 2 dwarf burning bushes, also for my front flower bed & I will probably get these little guys in the ground sooner than the peonies, just because they look a little more alive & have extremely small pots! I'm very excited to see these next year at this time - a blaze of bright red!