A Few Plants in the Ground

Moved cutting gardenMy yard was not as large as I thought it was.  My Gertrude Jekyll rose, which I planted to start the Cutting Garden, was placed so that it would have ended up being in the corner of the border where it had to turn to go in front of where the detached garage will go.  This was a mistake caused by not measuring out everything!  The garage itself would be fine–the driveway so that the garage is actually usable, not so fine.  Oops.  Lesson learned.  So I moved it today, using a new crape myrtle variety to anchor the corner instead:  Coral Magic.  It has glossy reddish purple new growth foliage, giving way to dark green, and it blooms a strong pink, despite its orangey-sounding name.  I do hope the rose forgives me!  On another note, though it looked awesome, it’s getting some leaf damage from insects.  I’m going to look into alternatives to systemic poisons.  I know my lawn supports a lot of grubs.  I’ve been meaning to inoculate with milky spore for years and haven’t.  This might push me over the edge, but that wouldn’t be a solution to the problem in the short term.

Also planted was a baptisia (false indigo–Baptisia australis) that came in a tiny pint pot.  I love baptisias.  They are tough-as-nail plants that make anyone look like a gardening god and have gorgeous blooms.  I bought the baptisia two or three weeks ago, and it has grown more than 6″ in its tiny pint pot while being terribly neglected.  They are native, too.  Bonus!

I also got cabaret grass–Miscanthus sinesis “Cabaret.”  These can be invasive in Maryland, but I’m growing it to use its seed heads in flower arrangements, leaving none to go to seed on the grass, and more importantly, I’m in the wrong location for it to go rogue.  There’s nothing that it would be happy about growing in within range of the seeds except lawns that are mowed.  If I were located close to a highway or closer to the beach, I’d be making a poor choice.

I’m totally going to steal one of my neighbor’s rose-of-sharons (Hibiscus syriacus) that have seeded all over her yard for my cutting garden.  They leaf out incredibly late but look spectacular in the fall when most plants have given up and gone home.

I spread a little more mulch around the arborvitae.  I had staked two just last month after the winter storms made them lean.  Both have broken their cotton yarn with their growing speed, but they are now straight–except for the very tip on one, where I need to stake higher and pull back the other way.  I do hope they’re happy, but I’m still worried that the location is too shady.  Time will tell.  They are already at least two feet taller than last year, and already it’s a tight squeeze to walk between them, so I’m hopeful!

The rest of my gardening time was taken by all the watering I had to do.  Our rain a few days ago ended up blowing out into the ocean before dropping anything of significance, so the Children’s Garden needed help today.  Tomorrow, I will hit the Drive Beds.  I don’t want my astilbe to go into decline, and my foxgloves are doing so well!  I need them to go to seed so I’ll have their babies in a couple of years to bloom again.  Next year, I’ll have to plant more for blooms, but I’m hoping I can establish them as self-seeders in alternate years and get a really great show.