Planting (and Replanting) Commences

Spent 4 hours planting today and such perfect weather for it: about 60F, mostly sunny, and — key for sheet mulching — not at all breezy!

elderberries after replanting
elderberries after replanting

Got the two Fedco elderberries (sambucus canadensis ‘Meadowsweet’ – a Maine variety) into the new side yard bed, and planted the Fedco dwarf tart cherry (Prunus x kerrasis ‘Crimson Passion’) into the other side of that bed, which hasn’t yet been sheet-mulched (waiting on mulch delivery). Planted the Fedco buddleia (‘Ellen’s Blue’ butterfly bush) into the edge of that bed, which I call the side border, between a holly and a hydrangea.

All the Fedco plants are very small. Deceivingly small, in fact, so that I actually planted the two elderberries too close to each other — about 18 inches apart — and because that distance looks great when they are so small, I only realised it about 2 hours later; I dutifully dug another hole through my cardboard (pick axe needed for sod and rocks underneath) and replanted one of the shrubs. Now they are about 3-1/3 feet apart, still a little close but this will do.

While I was planting the buddleia, I realised that a (4-yr-old) perovskia (Russian sage) was in the wrong spot, a spot I might better use for herbs or veggies later on, so I moved it farther back, in among some fellow perovskias. It didn’t go gracefully, but it did go. I also accidentally dug up come crocosmia corms, which I replanted a little farther along the border. I’ve noticed that there is almost always more digging and (re)planting to do than I expect most days.

two clethra in rock wall bed
two clethra in rock wall bed

I walked around the yard twice with the two Fedco clethra (‘Ruby Spice’ summersweet) plants in hand, finally deciding they would do well in a sunny front corner of the rock wall bed, where they will attract copious bees to the garden and still be far enough away from where I spend most of the my time (since I’m allergic to bee stings). That turned out to be the hardest job of today, as that part of the rock wall bed is covered in daylilies, whose roots form huge clutches of faintly menacing tuberous mats. Again the pick axe came into play. Sweat flew. Bad words were said.

The large plants decided and in the ground, it was time to plant the 40 ‘Plum Tart’ and ‘Green Star’ gladiolus bulbs I’d also ordered from Fedco. First I had to track mud into the house to Google which end was up, because I had forgotten since last year and there are no roots on these as there on on many corms (FYI: the pointy end goes up). A glad batch went in along the side of the backyard black fence, another couple by some grasses in a somewhat back shady garden, some more along the other side of the black fence, six more in a semi-circle behind the weeping ‘Jade’ crabapple in the side-front bed, and two more batches of 5 or so near the front-bed hellebores (Lenten roses), which will soon be shriveling up and dying back.  I’m bound to accidentally dig a few of these up before all is said and done this year.

Also got 70 pea seeds (leftover from last year) planted in the peach guild before calling it a day.

As always, I have a lot of respect for people whose job it is to garden 8 hours every day. I don’t think my back could handle it.

dwarf tart cherry, all on its own for now
dwarf tart cherry, all on its own for now


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