Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The lab is open for business

As Loree reported, March was a wet month. We got 7.75 inches of precipitation in 31 days. We had snow, hail, and so much rain. I panicked that I hadn't gotten my big orders from Annie's and High Country Gardens in the ground and worked feverishly after work over two nights, digging in the pouring rain by porch light. In a perfect world I would have weeded, then worked compost evenly through this area, then carefully planned the layout of the plants based on color and size.

Instead it was dark, I was soaked (to my underoos, guys), and I just kind of threw plants down wherever felt good at the time. Nothing had been weeded. Even though I've been planning this stupid strip for a while, there was a still a lot of impulse buying and random last-minute adds. I was struggling to read the tags in the dark, wondering why I bought an eryngium and where had I planned to put it?

For better or worse it's done, aside from mulch.

Here's the breakdown of the plants:

And how they should play together:

One of these things in not like the other!

And the other half:

I'll probably have to move things around a little, still. I've realized that my approach was more madness than method and there are some shorter plants that should be swapped with taller ones. Good thing I like to move plants. And yeah, it can stop raining at any time and I will be a happy camper.


  1. HammeringOurWayHomeApril 3, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    I like reading your garden stories whilst by yard is mega torn up. I'm pretty pumped to try my hand at gardening. All my potted plants have been unsuccessful (except my jades, which I love and have been know to talk to if provoked/drunk). Can't wait to see when all that flowery goodness blooms, bet it's going to look so purty!

  2. Potted plants are way harder than plants in the ground--you're going to rock at gardening in your yard.

    And I can't wait to see this area in bloom either! I know they'll get there but I want them to be big NOW.

  3. It looks great so far! Seriously, I can't even tell that you hadn't weeded and prepped from these photos - it looks awesome! I can't wait to see how these grow up and work together.

  4. Yay...so excited you got everything in the ground! Honestly, I find that no matter how detailed my plans are, when it comes to planting, I end up changing it around anyway. Like you, I've become used to moving things around...it's just so hard to really gauge how plants will really grow and behave in our own gardens. I think this will look smashing...everything is in such a great complementary palette, the combinations should be very forgiving...and hey, sometimes having something tall in the front is nice! Like they say, part of knowing the "rules" is knowing when to break them ;-)

  5. I wish my yard looked like that without weeding but this was after I planted THEN weeded. :)

  6. Ah yes, I can remember the day when an enormous order arrived from Prairie Moon Nursery and I spent hours sticking bare root plants into the ground until I literally fell over. And Agastache is my favorite plant! I use the native species agastache foeniculum. Fuzzy blue flower spikes loved by bees and goldfinches, almost indestructible, fragrant and edible leaves ... only thing is it self-seeds like the dickens.

    By the way, are you by any chance an AFSCME member? I work for AFSCME in Illinois, and we represent librarians in Chicago and a bunch of other places around the state.

  7. Wait...I thought we were looking at Scott's garden there for a minute!

    Love the Hesperaloe, it's got great form. And you know usually just getting them in the ground trumps having a pla.

  8. It helps that I stole half his plant suggestions. :)

  9. A lot of these self-seed, so this may be the last year where this section has any order! I specifically chose plants for hummingbirds and butterflies, so I'm hoping to get a show this summer.

    At my last job I was union (though not AFSCME) but I'm currently working as a medical librarian so I'm an at-will employee. If I worked for the county library I'd be covered under AFSCME. I loved my union--I felt like they really had my back, if I needed it.

  10. I'm so excited to see how everything plays together. Some of these were actually intended for my hell strip but I ended up with more planting space than I thought I'd have. And I just realized that I forgot to put in crocosmia, something you and Loree had recommended! Shoot. I think one of those salvia will get relocated to the hell strip . . .