Last year, in an attempt to outcompete the crabgrass on the strip between the sidewalk and the street, I transplanted two dozen hardy perennials that were given to us for the digging. (See the prior post for more details on that, and some great “before” pictures.) This spring, most of the transplants were re-emerging with abundance! I love hardy perennials! Time for step two.
I went back over my plant list to see what survived: Day lilies (yellow), Allium (lavender-colored), Goat’s Beard (leafy), Siberian Iris (blue), Turkish Rocket (yellow), Blue Cornflower, Heliopsis (yellow), Anise Hyssop (purple), White Ruffled Iris, Spiderwort (blue), Lady’s Mantle (yellow-green) and Astilbe (purple-pink). The color theme as you may have noticed is blue/violet & yellow, with a few others mixed in, (and several repeated). I still hope to add even more Siberian Irises.
But in the meantime, I filled in a couple empty spots with mystery pots (Siberian Iris and/or Day Lilies), two patches of Thyme taken from an overabundant patch in the orchard, and some Lemon Balm for the tough spot closest to the driveway, still leaving room for our trash and recycling bins. And then, I started laying down cardboard and/or folded newspaper between all the plants, and covering that with wood chips. I’ve just made a small start at one end, but the project can keep going bit by bit. All that hauling of wood chips takes it out of me.
I also made a small bed to try and grow a dozen Lupine flowers from seed. I know–that wasn’t the original plan–to go to all the effort to grow seeds. But when I was down east last weekend, they were selling the seed packets in a little cafe, and it was an impulse buy. Lupines are the queen of Maine wildflowers. So I soaked them overnight (well, two nights actually). I made a little soil bed between some of the other plants: first laying down a very light double layer of newspaper, then some sifted out compost from our pile, mixed with soil. After I planted the seeds, I used straw as a light mulch over the seeds, and filled in the edges with the wood chips. I also put a little fence around it, to protect it from unsuspecting dogs and children who might happen to wander down the sidewalk. I feel happy to look at it. More later.