Planning Flower-Beds (and Mystery Plants)

This weekend was busy, and I didn’t have a chance to write.  Today I may post twice, because I planned for this gardening post to be done already and I have a progress report on the changes inside (with photos) that I really wanted to share.

On Friday I wrote about some of the gardening tasks that I’d done.  After that more plants arrived, and I transplanted others:

honeysuckle hellebores onyx oddyssey planted

The honeysuckle is next to an archway over a gate in the fencing.  I was reluctant to let anything grow too near or on the fence, but… in the end I placed it there.  Three hellebores now grace the foundation under the window of our family room in the front of the house.  They aren’t part of the dark goth-y garden, like the honeysuckle, and had to be out of sight of it.  😉  I believe I mentioned already that I ended up moving some existing plantings from the back of the house to the front and side?  One was a hydrangea or something, I think, and there were some sort of rhizome-y things, and I moved the rose that was in the bed along the house.  Without knowing what they are going to look like I’m just assuming they are not in my colour scheme.  😉  As far as I know this is the time of year to do transplanting and not when they are in bloom or whatever, so moved they have been.  I felt a bit guilty disrupting them and making the changes though.  Someone put time, money, and love into the plantings here, you know?  Speaking of, there are many mystery shoots coming up all over!

irises? more irises?         mystery shoots more mystery shootssnow drops

Right away as the snow melted we saw thick mats of green blades spread around the decks.  We debated wether they would turn out to be snow drops or crocuses, and it turns out that they are snow drops.  This spring has been pretty gross (cold, snowy, and unpleasant… we were even shocked by freak snow this morning!) so they only started to flower in the past week.  There are many more ringing the few trees in the yard, and around the trees there are also a few other things coming up.  To me it looks like some are irises or perhaps daffodils?  (I am betting on irises.)  The little reddish ones could be, maybe, tulips?  I don’t really know domestic plants.  The colour reminds me of peonies, but they aren’t in a large group, and as they get bigger the leaves are wrong… but I’m not knowledgable in these matters.  My gardening friend will visit this week, so I expect she’ll tell me what everything is.  I did figure out what all the weird shrubs were.  They have this crazy ridged bark like razor blades the length of all the branches.  Google eventually informed me that they are Japanese “fire bush,” and… it is extremely invasive here.  I could already see that it has been trying to spread like wildfire, but the main specimens are well pruned.  Between these and the English ivy I’m going to be in constant battle, it seems.

I also spent Friday afternoon setting out bulbs and planning the flower beds.

planning the grill area bulbs

I did my best.  In the corners at the ends are “onyx odyssey” hellebores.  Choosing a location for them wasn’t easy since they bloom at an odd time (late winter,) but their greenery will look well enough in the grill area bed.  There are two “Arabian night” and one “duet” dahlias in there marking ends and corners along with a “black charm” lily in each corner, then a line of “black walnut” gladiolus.  The unmarked row in back is acidanthera.  When they arrive this fall I’ll add “queen of night” and “ice princess” tulips in the front section, but meanwhile I guess that some seeds will go there.

planning the house bed

By the house I have “crimson and gold” quince, “duet” and Arabian night” dahlias, more gladiolus, and eventually the sea holly that was ordered.  Closer to the deck is one chocolate vine, mentioned in Friday’s post.  I’ve used a lot of bulbs thinking that they are easy and will be there each year with little trouble.

With the nasty cold on Saturday I covered most of the transplants.  (I forgot the two black hellebores.)  Everything fared well even the forgotten hellebores.  They were all happy in the warm sun yesterday.

We enjoyed the afternoon warmth and sun too by taking our first bike ride of 2015.  We went down to the Hudson river, and it was very nice.  I spotted some nifty looking pods and gathered a handful or two to use in a display or maybe a necklace.  In the back of my mind they seemed familiar and I thought they came from a water plant.  Sure enough Google helped me place them: water chestnuts, another invasive species, but a tasty one that I hope to try this summer.  We are talking about getting a pair of inflatable kayaks, because I’d love to kayak, but we don’t have a way to transport normal plastic ones.  If we do then I ought to be able to gather water chestnuts, right?

water chestnut pod pile of water chestnuts

Lastly we sat on the deck and grilled while enjoying this sunset:


I am very happy.  🙂

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