she who keeps this diary

12 November 2004 - 2:22 PM

What I Did On My Day Off

Yesterday, I planted:

25 mixed 'Queen of the Night' and 'Menton' tulips
25 Hyacinthoides non-scripta
25 Allium caeruleum
10 'Blueberry Ripple' tulips
10 'Erlicheer' daffodils
10 'Bell Song' daffodils

I also bought 10 lbs of cracked corn, 20 lbs of birdseed, and 120 lbs of composted manure. I am wondering if that's enough manure. The daylilies (of which there are 6), the roses (7), the azaleas (5) and box (2) all need some, and the crepe myrtles (2) and rosemary (just 1) would probably appreciate a bit as well.

Henry Mitchell once wrote that manure, like youth, goes all too quickly. Only a gardener will understand the truth in this statement.

Just for purposes of being complete, here's what else I've planted this autumn:

6 Erythronium dens canis
3 Cyclamen hederifolium
3 white hyacinths, variety unknown, from the pot Maman gave me at Easter
3 'Edith Wolford' bearded irises
3 'Babbling Brook' bearded irises
3 Helleborus x orientalis (already putting out new growth)
1 'Prairie Blue Eyes' daylily (Hemerocallis)

Yikes. It must sound as though I've got a really cluttered garden. In truth, it probably looks more like a wasteland. The lot is good-sized, and practically no serious gardening was done before we bought the house. There was the one bed of lilies of the valley with irises jammed in one corner, and a clump of grape hyacinths under one tree. A lot of what I've been trying to do is establish structure -- the proto-incipient shrub border along the east side of the yard is part of that effort -- but since I was starting almost from nothing and have been working on a very limited budget, it doesn't look like much. Not yet, anyway. Every year I push a little closer to ... something. An ideal garden? A picture in my head?

Next year's projects will include continued meditation on how to address the area along the fenceline, which is a problem on two counts. One, it is long, being approximately 50 feet of street frontage, and two, it goes from fairly heavy shade at one end to nearly full sun at the other. Since the rules of good border design usually include repeating plants, and what will grow in full sun and what will thrive in deep shade are almost always mutually exclusive categories ... well, consistency will be a problem. Whatever grows there will also have to compete with the fence, so scale is also a concern.

Dressing up the area around the front door will continue to be a project too. The irises are now dug out of the corner of the lilies of the valley; I need to keep thinning the lilies of the valley themselves (freebies available to those who will carry them away, probably starting next June) and add height. Deep shade is again an issue. I would like a camellia. I think I might also like a witch hazel. Trying to work out what will fit, and where and how, should keep me usefully annoyed through the winter.

verso - recto

The WeatherPixie

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