Well, so far I haven’t actually *planted* anything more today except the 4 petunias earlier on, in a planter with lemongrass and red sedum, but I’ve made progress all the same. I Roundupped quite a bit more weeds, pulled a lot more Virginia bluebells and also overgrown Jacob’s ladder (polemonium).
Found (I think) the perfect place to plant cephalaria gigantea (giant scabious), especially if I surround it with later-blooming tall yellow daylilies and earlier blooming short yellow daylilies. Will be quite a dramatic vignette.
I unpacked the rest of my new planters, only to find that two of them were badly cracked. Notified Amazon and will be getting replacements. (The prices have tripled or quadrupled since I bought them, too!)
Then I spent about half an hour cutting up boxes and decided my roommate Travis can do the rest. Waste Management wants them cut into about 18×18 or so pieces, which just takes forever!
Next I put several layers of brown packing paper over still-weedy sections of the island, weighted down. I’ll need to have Travis drag more bags of mushroom compost and peat humus (I moved one – not doing that again!) onto the island, where the bags can smother weeds and then eventually I can cut them open, dump them, and one or both of us can dig the amendments in.
At this point, I don’t think the island will be replanted until much later in the year. Cleaning out the suckers from the trumpet vine (which has traveled all the way under the driveway to invade the island) is a monstrous job. Even Roundup isn’t strong enough – I’ll need to use their Tough Brush and Poison Ivy Killer to get rid of it, and unfortunately, it is growing through the Gold Thread Cypress.
During rest periods, I have been working on container designs. The Marque Moon daylily should look amazing with the pale yellow petunias (I have so much that’s yellow, I may need more of those). Platycodon ‘Sentimental Blue,’ a dwarf light purple balloonflower, should be pretty with white pansies. Sedum ‘Marina,’ with its burgundy undertones, would be enhanced by pink & burgundy pansies.
I’ve decided to pot the three huge white dahlias (‘Snow Cap’). The culture info says they get to be 40×11, which doesn’t seem quite right as the large blooms have to be fairly heavy. I’ll need to empty out some of my largest white pots for these and get some supports, probably, or build some – gosh, metal supports are expensive! Bamboo stakes and Velcro might do just as well.
(NOTE: Searching for images of this dahlia, I get a wide variety of flowers that look very different. The vendor from whom I purchased these, Gilbert H. Wild, no longer has them listed. So for all I know, I could be getting something of a different size or shape.)
These three big pots could sit in the island, smashing more weeds while providing long-term color. Perhaps the two new irises, ‘Raven Girl’ and ‘Sea Power’ could also be put there in pots, providing contrast to the white dahlias.
I’m ashamed to say that I was unable to resist American Meadows’ sale on lilies today. I bought 12 lilies – which always have to be planted soon after arrival, along with 25 wandflowers (sparaxis), plus a lot of white tulips, blue allium, and two varieties of Dutch iris that will arrive in the fall. I’m addicted, that’s all there is to it.
Checking over my available (and in-use) planters, I find that I do have two of the biggest that are empty, and they actually match. The third matching planter currently has Siberian irises in it. They could be moved to a smaller pot.
Tomorrow is forecast to be really hot – 82°, which is rough for me. Because of the sheer weight of the three planters when they are filled, tomorrow won’t be a good day for planting the dahlias.
Another combination that can’t be done on a hot day happens after I plant the brunnera before the sun hits the area where they are going, This is my largest planter of all. I can then put my three false cypresses in that pot along with sedum dasyphyllum.
Yucca ‘Color Guard,’ variegated green and gold, might work well here, too, since one of the false cypresses is gold. It’s very small just now, and could be moved out if it gets too big. The problem here, once again, is the size and weight of the planter. It would be better to fill it in place and then plant, and that place will be out in the sun.
But I can work in the garage, potting smaller items:
- Fuschia ‘Gartenmeister Bonnstedt’ in a hanging basket to go outside the patio doors of my office that lead to the balcony. (Note: There is disagreement over the spelling of this variety – some sources say “Bonnstedt” and others “Bonstedt.” Bonnstädt, in German, would mean “city of Bonn,” thus “Master Gardener of Bonn” makes sense. In addition, Bonnstädt would be pronounced “bon-shtedt.” But this is purely my own guesswork.)
- Add white pansies to the pot of platycodon ‘Sentimental Blue.’
- Put acer palmatum ‘Shaina’ into a one of my lovely new planters.
- Single pots – irises ‘Sea Power’ and ‘Raven Girl.’ These pots would have to be sunk halfway into the island bed to keep them from falling over, as both irises are very tall.
- Daylily ‘Marque Moon’ with yellow petunias.
- Daylily ‘Siloam Amazing Grace’ with bright yellow pansies.
- Pennisetum ‘Hameln’ (an ornamental grass) – possibly with orange pansies.
- Shasta daisy ‘Banana Cream’ with yellow petunias.
- Fill another hanging basket with red petunias.
- Fill one of my new planters with multicolored portulacas.
- Maybe put festuca ‘Elijah Blue’ into the second tall, narrow planter along with blue pansies.
- In a decorative planter, put heliopsis ‘Loraine Sunshine’ with blue pansies. The contrast of yellow flowers and yellow and green variegated leaves with the blue should be stunning.
Obviously this is more than one day’s work. Friday is forecast to be warm and rainy, followed by a rapid cool down. Saturday is supposed to be deliciously cool, great for planting in the ground. The slope garden, by necessity, is going to have to become a nursery bed for plants I just don’t know where the put at this time. The shady bed opposite the slope still needs a lot of cleaning out, so I’ll need to put some heavy work in there before I can use it as a nursery for shade plants like hostas and astilbes.
I’m all excited!
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