I have one bed outside my living room window that needs some serious work. I had a couple of ideas about how to fix it, and then my husband decided we needed to do a little more landscaping to encourage the water to flow away from the house so as to limit the amount in the basement each spring. Great idea! It hasn’t really been an issue up to now, but like I said, it’s been some winter! I was thinking maybe just some amending of the soil and adding some more peat moss would do the trick, but he’s talking a complete dismantling of the whole bed.
So in turn, I’ve been doing some planning, and some plotting, trying to figure out where to transplant some of the things that are actually growing there. (Exciting, I know...).
I’m always excited when the greenhouses begin to display their spring offerings. I usually have to check out all four stores in our little town to see who has what, at the best price, before I make any purchases. I peruse my seed catalogues starting in late January and ooohhh and aaaaahhh over different plants, wishing that I could grow Zone 8s here in my little Zone 4 that’s closer to a Zone 3. Then one day in May, I bite the bullet, get out the checkbook and come home with little short boxes full of six-packs, sporting six plants, each showing off one big blossom. Unfortunately, one of the things that plants have to do in order to grow and flourish, is endure a little ill-treatment. And that big blossom just absolutely has to go. Yep. I just pinch off the whole purple petunia, or the petite yellow pansy.
It’s heartbreaking really. Those fervent little plants that cheerfully stood up and said “Pick me! I will look beautiful in your whiskey-barrel planters beside the climbing purple clematis!” have to go through some trouble in order to do what they were designed to do. Yes, they are colorful, and my beds and pots won’t look nearly so pretty with just the greenery, but the plants need the opportunity to focus on developing their root system, instead of putting their energy toward keeping the big blossom open and at attention. Then they will be able to produce more abundant and healthier blooms down the road.
The perennials also get a little shaken up each spring. The plants that have grown and flourished often times need to be divided. Which is great for me, because I get more plants for more beds, and I don't have to spend any money on them. So I dig them up, pry apart their roots as gently as I can, and plunk them down in a new location, careful to make sure the plant and the new home are suited for each other. The delicate plants have a really tough time on the south side of the house on the deck, and likewise, the moss roses and other succulents don't do as well in my clay bed that doesn't drain very well.