Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Plants

New plants in August. Oh, the joy of living in New England. While most of the country is suffering from heat and drought I've still been able to work in the garden (the last few days excepted. Highs in the 90s with humidity is hot no matter where you live. Fortunately the weather has changed and we're back to better gardening weather. If you live in a warm climate you can gloat during the winter, now it's my turn). I ordered several plants from one of my favorite catalogs, Plant Delights. Much to my surprise they actually shipped them (they are in the South and if you plant something in August you might as well be planting your money in that hole). Planting them now does give them a chance to get established before the cold weather hits.

I got a total of six plants: 3 Carex eburnea, 2 Buddleia 'Evil Ways' and 1 Vernonia angustifolia 'Plum Peachy'. You can see that the first thing I did was stick them in the tub and water them well.

The Carex are native to a large part of the US. They are cute little clumping sedges and I'm placed them near the sidewalk. They are supposed to stay relatively small and low growing so I'll be able to plant taller stuff behind them with no problem. And that will keep the taller stuff from flopping over the sidewalk. I have a tendency to plant too close to walkways and garden edges.

The Vernonia is a new plant for me and I'm trying a specimen to see what it looks like and how it does. This is also a native plant but it's native to the South Eastern US so it may not survive the winters (it's rated zone 5 and I'm in zone 6 so it should but we don't have the intense summer heat and some plants need that to thrive). I've tucked it in where I had been growing lettuce this year. I've left the lettuce (notice how it's bolted) in the hopes that cabbage white butterflies might lay eggs there, or that the goldfinches might like the seeds. No luck yet.

I'm addicted to Buddleia. I have six of them now, of 5 different types and in three different parts of the yard. These are going in the backyard near my Ninebark 'Coppertina.' 'Evil Ways' is supposed to have yellowish foliage which I think will look good next to the dark color of the Ninebark (I like high contrast).

Notice how large I dug the hole - my soil is sandy loam, very easy to dig compared to Southern clay soils.

I'm trying the new "puddling" technique when planting. You put the plant in the hole, fill enough soil to hold it in place (about half way) and then fill the hole with water. Let it drain. Fill it again. Let it drain. Then fill the rest of the hole with soil and water again. I think it should work well in our soil - water does not drain into the soil quickly and this way I know I've watered enough and didn't just run out of patience.

The last step is the dog barrier. My dogs are rowdy and they will dig so I have to temporarily fence new plantings to keep them out until the plants are established. And they like to roll in fresh mulch. Not great for newly planted shrubs.Well, the weathers nice today and I have grass to remove. Maybe I'll go see if the garden centers are gearing up for fall planting season...

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