However...there comes a time in every garden's life where things have got to change. Maybe it's because after 15 years, the backyard is no longer full sun. Or maybe those Keys of Heaven that were so nice when there were only 6 of them have taken over all available space. Or maybe it's just time.
So you've made up your mind and things have got to change. But first you have to have a plan. What will grow and be happy in part to full shade? What do you want to see? What will survive in your climate? After lots of research and too many sexy plant pictures, you make your decision. You order your plants and then...you realize you have 15 years worth of weeds or unhappy full sun plants that need to be moved. You must clear the ground first to make space for your sexy new plants.
First you gently remove the plants you want to save and relocate them to the full sun parts of your front yard. Then you start weeding.
Then you start ripping out plants and weeds willy-nilly, in a frenzy of gardening, leaving bent, broken and weeping plants laying in your wake. You've become Attila the Hun, pillaging your very own land. Ripping and tearing and digging and clawing your way through the dirt!
But maybe that's just me?
2010 Garden Chores List (Not necessarily in order)
- Move big elderberry to corner.
- Dig up 6 agastache and relocate to front yard.
- Remove and relocate 2 Chinese grasses to front yard.
- Relocate caryopteris.
- Move "Dawn" viburnum down to the left ~3'.
- Fill with Russian sedum as ground cover.
- Feed crab apple tree on monthly basis through summer.
- Order and spread mulch.
- Take cuttings of sempervivums for new pathway.
- Install 2 kinds of thyme (Woolly and variegated) in new pathway to help with roof runoff issues.
- Relocate butterfly bush to front yard.
- Move compact burning bush somewhere else.
- Relocate plants from future pathway to side gate somewhere else in the xeric yard.
- Clear out plants from around sprinkler heads.
- Fix broken sprinklers. Repeat ad nauseum during entire length of summer.
- Replace old fashioned sprinklers.
- Move asters from back to front yard.
- Weed sidewalk garden.
- Weed xeric garden.
- Relocate plants around xeric garden to fill empty spots.
- Ditch irises from the front yard. Yes, all of them. Offer them for free to neighbors and meet new people. Neighbors LOVE free plants!
- Move blue fescue to sidewalk (SW) garden.
- Plant 3 new grasses in SW garden.
- Order 6 shrubs and 3 grasses for part shade garden in back yard.
- Rip out and relocate 3 peonies, Autumn Joy sedum, Blue Hills sage, large catmint, and 2 kinds of garden phlox.
- Rip out Keys of Heaven, bindweed, bee balm, clematis tanguica, lamb's ear and other assorted weeds.
- Sift wheelbarrows full of compost.
- Install Java Red weigela, 3 Miscanthus 'Morninglight' in newly weeded sunny part of back yard. Maybe this will keep me weeding that section more frequently?
- Move bronze sedge from shady part to sunny part.
- Finally plant new scented penstemon purchased at DBG plant sale.
- Rip out weeds and morning glories volunteering all over raised beds.
- Plant cool weather seeds for "fall" veggies (e.g. spinach, peas, beans, zukes [45 and 50 day varieties, just to see if it's possible], lettuce, pak choi, cilantro, dill [very old seeds, will they work?], green onions, and carrots,) by Aug. 2nd. Realize that I probably should have started this in mid-July, but hope for the best.
- Install new sprinkler line down to cover sunny corner of yard and keep new plantings happy.
- Remove potting bench and its mess off deck.
- Sort out pots and stuff, send bad pots to McGuckin's for recycling (Check with your local garden center - they may take all of your old pots for recycling, too!).
- Clean deck and organize potted plants on deck.
- Begin making mental list of plants to live on deck next summer.
- Install bronze/purple ajuga as ground cover in part shade garden.
- Install 6 new shrubs (Pictured at bottom) and 3 new grasses.
- Learned a new mulching/sheet composting method I plan on trialing this winter. Must steal bags and bags of leaves and get a few bales of straw.
- Begin planning 2 more raised beds for raspberries and rhubarb. Wonder if I can sucker husband into making two more beds? He likes raspberries....
- Determine that only crazy people garden like this.
- Lounge in hammock and drink lemonade.
- Wait three years for new garden to mature.
- Begin making 2011 garden chore list.
What are you doing in the garden this summer?
Click to enlarge. All photos from DavesGarden.com. This is what my itty bitty quart sized plants should look like many years from now. I can hardly wait!