Monday, June 8, 2009

Garden Reno: Days Two and Three

I love before and after pictures. They are tangible evidence of results. On Day One of the garden reno there were weeds everywhere. I managed to pull everything behind the giant hostas.

On Day Two I turned my attention to the front of the garden. Here's the start of a three hour weeding session.

This is the end of Day Two.

By the end of Day Three (and another three hours of weeding) the garden was looking ready for planting. Of course it's not ready yet. It'll need compost dug in...a lot of compost.

Here's an alternate angle of the garden at the end of Day Three.

I have pulled a lot of clover, lily of the valley, Star of Bethlehem, countless violets, daylilies, grass of the lawn variety and an ugly ornamental type, and a whole bunch of unidentified weeds that creep and clump. The hostas are staying put. There are numerous clumps of violets that I am leaving for now. There are significant areas of lily of the valley. Some will stay but some have to go. There are two mystery plants that may be goldenrod. They would provide dazzling fall colour. Two enormous stands of daylilies need to be divided but I think I will leave that job until fall. I really can't bear to tear them up just when they are sending up flower stalks. There are two spiderwort plants that are doing very well that will stay in place. Right at the base of the spiderwort, a baby pulmonaria is making a go of it.

So now, as planting day nears, the plant possibilities are running through my head. I need plants that like lean, sandy soil and full sun. I've been toying with yarrow, foxtail lilies, lavender, liatris, california poppy, calamint, and some ornamental grasses of the absolutely gorgeous variety. I'm looking for suggestions so if you have any experience with these conditions please share your ideas.


Nutty Gnome said...

i haven't got any planting suggestions for you, but I'm very impressed with all your hard work on the weeding - can I borrow you?!!!

Connie said...

Wow, what a difference! Great selective weeding.... I think you were wise to leave a few things that were already growing.
I can testify that CA. poppy, Liatris, and Yarrow all thrive in lean sandy soil, as the soil we brought in for my Cottage garden is such. Liatris one of my favorite plants....I love that it begins to bloom in the later summer when other flowers are waning. I also like how it blooms fro the top down, unlike most flowers.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Wow that's a lot of opportunity peeping out with the dirt. Beard's tongue specifically husker's read, coreopsis - any kind, but lanceleaf seems to be native though Moonbeam is very popular, blanket flower blooms all summer and I believe yucca could provide a nice vertical accent. Herbs such as sage (or ornamental salvia), thyme and oregano should do well too.

EAL said...

geum prairie smoke, salvia, lots of salvia, allium--anything sold by High Country Gardens.

The geum prairie smoke is stunning. I saw it in Chicago. And the swaths of salvia at the Lurie were gorgeous.

Garden Lily said...

Wow, great progress! Globe thistle is one tough plant for sandy soil, and one of my favourites.

Helen said...

I think I'm in denial about my sandy soil. I think I've been in denial for about twenty years. That's a lot of denial. However, that prairie smoke is a very lustable flower.

Calif. poppies are wonderful, but best seeded in early spring when the soil is moist.

Foxtail lilies, in my experience, can be slow to establish, so don't expect too much in the first year.

There are all sorts of wonderful new colours in blanketflower (Gaillardia); 'Oranges and Lemons' is very pretty. They are fairly dependable bloomers over a long period -- just what you want for a late-season planting.

Asiatic lilies are surprisingly tough and perform very well when the earth is well drained. Arrange them in marked clumps, though, as the bulbs are easy to damage by over-enthusiastic digging. They don't always grow straight up.

What a joy a blank slate is.