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Houston, we have shrubs!

I did a LOT of gardening this weekend! Jeff is unfortunately sick with allergies or the flu or something, so he stayed inside sleeping all day. I spent the whole time outside puttering around. Yesterday I decided I was going to divide some of the daffodils out front. I spent about three hours digging up maybe 5 inches of the 5 foot row and replanting the 40 or so bulbs that were crammed in there.

See that little messy part on the left where there are limp leaves? That’s all I managed to dig up in three whole hours! Obviously these daffodils have been dividing themselves for a very, very long time and are way overdue to be divided. I have a lot of work ahead of me here! The bonus is I get a million free bulbs to plant all over the garden!

Yesterday I also found some 2 year old wildflower seed mix and sprinkled it over the septic patch. Probably most of the flowers will never sprout, but I figured it was worth a shot.

Today I finished the curved garden bed in the back. I dug out another 5 inches of width, dug up and loosened the soil, and added five wheelbarrows of mushroom compost and mixed it all together. Then I went to Groff’s Plant Farm and bought some plants! My very kind neighbor and gardening mentor is dividing his perennials and is going to give me a bunch, so I focused on buying things I know he won’t give me.

This is “Spring Fever” Iceland poppy. It grows to 12”s tall and is a beautiful mix of pastel flowers.

Over in the middle of the main bed I planted Oriental poppy “allegro”. It grows 16-20” high 18-24” across and is bright red.

This is a white clematis, but unfortunately I didn’t get the name of it. I removed the arch it was climbing up and trained it to grow up our arbor that Jeff built. It’s on the left.

I moved the arch to the herb patch where I had planted a couple of snap peas just to see if they would sprout. They were from a few years ago and had been kept in very less-than-ideal conditions, so I really didn’t know if they would or not. They did! I thinned the six seeds out to just two. I also have some lettuce growing (from the same seed box), a pot of mint, and the herbs I picked up from our CSA which unfortunately got planted the day of an unexpected late frost, so they may not make it.

This is a common elderberry bush, which is native to our area I believe. It grows 5-10 feet tall and wide. I placed it in the bed directly in front of the back patio to partially block the view of our neighbor’s sad dog. Also, I absolutely adore elderflower pressé and the fruits are edible too (if the birds don’t get them all first)!

Over to the left there is Bigleaf hydrangea “Let’s Dance Big Easy”. It grows 24-36 inches and has beautiful pink flowers with peach centers. It was my stepson’s favorite of the million choices they had at Groff’s, so I got it.

I didn’t want anything too big in front of that window, so this seemed like a decent choice. When we get our fence installed, I’ll probably buy another, larger hydrangea.

Out back again, I bought four “Temprano” bright red ivy geraniums. My grandmother always had geraniums on her front porch, so I think of them very nostalgically. I think our front porch is too shady for these, so I lined them up along the back door.

Over in the septic field wasteland is Lavender “Hidcote”. It may look small now, but it grows to be up to 20 inches tall. It’s the typical silver-leafed, purple-flowered lavender that you see in dried flower arrangements.

In the back, I added two blueberry bushes. They apparently grow well under pine trees and are native to our area. Above is Vaccinium ‘duke’ highbush blueberry, which grows 4-6 feet tall with medium sized fruit early in the season.

Further towards the barn is Vaccinium ‘chandler’ high bush blueberry, which grows to 4 feet and has good fall red color and large berries. I mulched them both with pine straw as I read that they like mulch.

In the shade garden is “Lady In Red” fern, which grows to 36” high and across! I hope to fill this whole area with stones, moss, ferns, and other shad-loving plants.

I also planted tufted hair grass by the side door which grows 2-4 feet and blooms in early summer. Jeff is a big fan of grasses, so I’ll be adding these throughout the garden.

We also have some mystery plants coming in from the previous owners, but I’ll leave those for another post!