Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wednesday Workday

Saturday was one of those perfect fall days - windy, but sunny and mid-70's.  The perfect day to tackle some of the long overdue clean up in the garden, as well as laying out the new bed for the cutting garden.  Belinda at Wild Acres has convinced me that I need to try my hand at a cutting garden, so I have spent many nights pouring over catalogs - both paper and online - and ordering seeds.

About a month ago I laid out a new bed just for seeds - which I will show you next week - promise.  It is not nearly large enough for my plans, so some renovating was in order. 

This area is one of my favorite spots, but doesn't really add anything to the landscape.  I planted Pacific Daisies [Ajania pacifica] more than five years ago.  They provide lovely foliage for arrangements and bloom a small field of pink in late October, but most of the year this patch is a hodge podge of whatever has spread over there.  So, an hour of not-so-hard work and I cleared 90% of the daisies, plus all the odds and ends.

 I also pulled out the crocosmia that were growing on the mound above the wall.  I never really liked the color, but they were a nice filler.  The third year in this garden, I built this wall and mound.  I wanted a focal point at the far end of the garden.  Mitchell almost died when a truck showed up with a couple cubic yards of .... dirt!  Well, it was topsoil.  I picked out the stones and brought them home a few at the time in my car and then built the wall - it's only two stones tall.  The wrought iron is a gate that I put in the center of the mound with a lovely - altho long gone - clematis twining on it.  Now, I am thinking I will move the urn there and replace the mini-rose that's in it with another mini-variety.  I need something that blooms prolifically - but that is the future.
In the present, I moved several fall asters [Aster novae-angliae] to above the wall.  They were scattered all over the garden and didn't really contribute much.  Clustered together, I think they will be prettier.
 With that area cleared, I looked around for more space.  These flowers seem to be taking a lot of real estate!  This corner is also not contributing much to the overall look.  There are hardy chrysanthemums that came from Mitchell's mother and have naturalized over the years, as well as several salvias - one of which is a bully - and several lovely day lilies that I hope will spread over time.

A bit of cleaning up and now I have a long view from the deck across both areas to the wall at the back.  Don't you think the urn would look good at the end of that view?  I'm planning to put the astrantias and dahlias along the wall, along with .... well, don't know exactly what.  In the front, I think I will put some zinnias and some more don't-know-what.  I still have many packages of seeds to plant in the spring.  Not only was it a morning well spent from the garden's perspective, but it was a morning of recharging the batteries and remembering why it is that I love spending time digging in the dirt.

Now, important stuff.  FREE to a good home.   In the third photo you can see three clumps of day lilies in front of the wall.  I could not bring myself to just rip them up.  While I do have a couple of places I could put them, I would rather find them new homes.  They are the "red" daylily that was developed here in Richmond.  I think their name is 'Richmond Spider' [the local college mascot is Spider and their colors are navy and red - get it?].  I am trying to get more information to pass along if anyone wants them.
Each of the existing clumps is about 12 inches across and will divide into at least three smaller clumps and should bloom next spring if you plant them this fall.  They are a vigorous plant and grow large with blooms that are about five inches across and prolific.  I am a new fan of day lilies, so can only tell you that this one is the biggest - both clump and flower - and most impressive daylily I have ever seen.  
If you live in the U.S. and want a clump, please leave me a comment and then email me at webb2206@hotmail.com so we can exchange addresses and I will get them off to you within the next two weeks, so that you can get them planted before are really hard frost.  I would like nothing better than to think they were living with friends, and I promise you will love them.


  1. I would so love a cutting garden. I don't have the needed sun. I have an overabundance of day lilies. I keep trying to give them away to no avail. They are wonderful in areas with erosion issues. I hope you find them a good home, they are beautiful.

  2. What a great garden renovation! It is going to be lovely, and I am looking forward to seeing the results. I love flowers in the garden, and all the insects that they bring. How do you think those daylillies would fare in the desert?

  3. A day spent working in the garden always boosts my mood. These plants are beautiful. I have an abundance of yellow and purple day lilies, but since I am known around here as the plant rescuer if you don’t have any takers I am sure I could find a spot for them.

    I used to work as the controller for a landscape company (I took the job because I love plants). It ended up being a horrible nightmare of a place. But I did meet some great people who loved plants. One of the landscape designers created hybrid day lilies with his wife in his back yard. I heard it was a sight to see. Now I am thinking I missed out never making a visit. Would seem too weird now, it has been over ten years. sigh

  4. Anneke, I think you are either zone 7 or 8. From what I see, day lilies are fine to zone 10. They need 6-7 hours of sun and might benefit from a bit of shade in the afternoon - apparently the darker colors need it to last longer. Need well drained soil (NOT a problem, I think!) and prefer a bit more acid, but will grow fine in PH6 or slightly alkaline soils. If you want to give them a try, the recommendation for "deep south" is to transplant in the fall. I'm certainly game, if you are.

    Savvy, I'll let you know if I need rescue! Thanks for the offer.