Gardening to excess

Contrary to the forecast, we had a gorgeous, rain-free weekend. Saturday even included enough of a breeze to keep the worst of the evil blackflies at bay. The skies were blue, the sun was shining, and I was in the garden by 7 am on both days. Of course, this meant that by 8 pm on both days my eyelids were drooping and I was simply too tired to focus on composing a blog post.

Saturday Dan painted the picket fence that my dear friends Penny & David gave us as a wedding gift. David made it, it is about 12 feet long and constructed from PT lumber so with care, it will last for years. We first removed the fence, and took it to the nearby car wash for cleaning. It was a bit of a pain to load it in the truck, but so worth it when the pressure wash removed all the crud and left the fence totally ready for painting once it dried. Dan had the majority of the fence painted Saturday, he just needed to paint the flip side on Sunday, and once it dried, we put it back in the garden, then weeded thoroughly, removing some milkweed, yet more Raspberry Wine monarda, and another invasive non-native on my list of despised plants, creeping purple bellflower. I then planted six lavender plants, 3 Provence, and 3 Hidcote Blue ( and I want to add a 4th Hidcote Blue plant). I hope the lavender will do well there, the soil warms up being near the driveway, and drains well, and of course is protected from the wind by the house and the fence.

While Dan painted, I worked on planting and dividing plants in the perennial beds. I planted the hostas in the front bed, found the Black-Eyed Susans that volunteered there and need to be moved, and puttered around for much of the day. I planted 2 white catmint, removed some of the volunteer hyssop, divided and potted up plants for friends, pruned the Russian Sage hedge, and generally basked in the glory of gardening.

Sadly, it looks like I lost my Black Knight butterfly bush, as I have yet to see any sprouts. The Honeycomb butterfly bush, new last year looks great, naturally. Honeycomb did not prove to be a favorite with me, or with the butterflies. The scent was not as appealing, and it was much larger and more gangly than the Black Knight. If I can decide what to replace it with, I’m planning on digging it up and moving it somewhere, maybe by the new lilac hedge.

On Sunday I spent more time in the vegetable garden. While the temperature warmed enough to paint, Dan helped me plant the potatoes, first spreading about 50 lbs of gypsum over the potato beds. I figure if I do that every year eventually I’ll have worked gypsum into the entire garden as I rotate the potatoes, trying to lighten the clay soil. Dan also set up the birdbath and dripper we have in the vegetable garden, then went back to painting as I worked on a few more veg garden chores. The garden is looking great for this time of year. I can hardly wait to taste the lettuce!

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3 Responses to “Gardening to excess”

  1. jeff-naturehills Says:

    The white picket fence looks absolutely great. The beds look ready to produce food and beauty.

  2. Tracy Says:

    Ali: I envy you your gardening weekend! It was pretty rainy around here. Now I’m looking at being gone the next two weekends, and barely anything is done. I think I might have to beg off Memorial Day weekend at the lake so that I can actually get some plants in the ground.

    Your gardens are looking great, and I really like the picket fence!

  3. Angie Says:

    Don’t give up on the butterfly bush yet – I had a Black Knight that looked dead every spring. It always woke up in June. Give it a couple more weeks.

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