Monday, January 5, 2009

The North Bed

Today I spent some time paying more bills, shipping more plants for trades, and filling out more applications for a job.

It's been cloudy and overcast all day with sprinkles of rain throughout. It's 57 degrees so I won't complain too much about the weather. At least it made planting all those hosta bulbs easier.

Yesterday, I scored big. I got a 5 gallon bucket full of hosta roots and bulbs from my friend John. We dug up his nearly 10 year old hosta bed and spread things out a bit. It's a small space so we only planted about 18 clumps. That left a LOT of hosta to dispose of. I was more than happy to oblige.

Using my trusty bulb auger and a cordless drill, I managed to plant 35 clumps in under half an hour. These will be the basis of the North Bed. As you might expect, this is on the north side of the house and receives only a smattering of morning sun in June and July. It's always moist over there. A couple of struggling azaleas and leaves are all that's in that area now. With the hosta seeds I've wintersown, this area should be a show place a few months out of the year. I plan to intermingle impatiens that I'll be growing from seed this summer for a little color.

The North Bed



I'm also searching for shade loving shrubs. So far, I've had suggestions for hydrangea and Aucuba japonica 'Gold Dust'. The Aucuba has always been known to me as "painter's bush" with it's speckled leaves. I grabbed a few cuttings from Larry's yard (a neighbor) for the aero chamber. We'll see how long it takes to root them if they will at all right now.

I inserted a few cuttings from John's Euonymus "Green & Gold", too. They needed pruning and I of course took the cuttings. If all of them root, I'll send some plants back to him this summer to fill in around his back deck.

I took 9 "root cuttings" from my lavender crape myrtle. I also transplanted 25 black eyed susans I stared on 9/11/08 from seed into individual cups. They were in the cold frame and had grown large enough to handle. Finally, I potted 18 pieces of Coreopsis "early sunrise" into containers. They were placed in the cold frame 3 weeks ago and most have small roots. I want to get them into something else before they grow too large to handle. The Shasta Daisies and Sweet William Dianthus will remain until spring. Maybe.

I'm glad the cold is gone. I feel almost myself again. Maybe I'll go break up some more pallets. The rain is here to stay for a few more days. I sure could use a little sunshine.

3:10pm The sun came out for about 15 minutes. It's still cloudy, but I get to see a small beam of light every now and then. I'll take it.

8:36pm Looks like another warm evening. It's cloudy, and more rain is in the forecast for tomorrow and Wednesday. I took a walk after dinner. That fig on 6th Street got an unscheduled pruning.


Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

From Kim:

I'm in Zone 7, and I love these shrubs that do well in shade. Sarcococca ruscifolia (and mini Sarcococca) is a broad leaved evergreen with lovely scented tiny flowers in Jan. Japanese Skimmia is another broad leaved evergreen. Mahonia bealei looks sort of like holly, but it isn't, and it is also evergreen. For heavy shade to part sun, Itea virginiana, Virginia Sweetspire can't be beat. It's not evergreen, but the variety Henry's Garnet has lovely burgundy fall foliage. It blooms with white bottlebrush flowers in the spring, and the arching habit makes it my favorite shrub. Prunus laurocerasus 'Otto Luyken' is a broad leaved evergreen with shiny dark green leaves that will tolerate a good bit of shade. Leucothoe axillaris is another great one in either green or variegated. I have all these in my yard and I love them all.

Hope this info is helpful.

Thanks Kim. I'll be sure to check out those plants and see what I can find. I do know Va Sweetspire. We had it at the local Lowe's this spring for about 3 days. Every plant sold before I could get my hands on one.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I don't grow many shrubs, since my yard is small. What you have so far sounds good. You could put some coral bells here and there. They are not full shade plants, but are pretty versatile, and my leaves are still looking pretty good.

lvtgrdn on cottage garden forum