Monday, August 13, 2012

So Many Plants, So Little Time

Worked on the area directly behind Buddha today - the Hosta I planted there at the start of the spring (acquired from my brother-in-law) seemed to have been eaten by critters. When we dug them up, very little of the roots were left and the leaves were almost completely gone. 

Early Summer
Late Summer
I have had a problem with this area all summer - chipmunks were living directly under the area and seem to have eaten the roots from underneath. I trapped and relocated many of the chipmunks, but still they destroyed the plants. Interestingly, they didn't touch the plants on the outer edge of the back gate that were identical Hosta. Now I have this large empty space in the corner of the garden that needs some plantings. Problem is that the area is heavily shaded by the Burning Bush Tree just opposite the fence. So, I need to consider a plant that likes shade that won't be eaten by chipmunks. I am actually considering moving one of the Clumping Bamboo plants for the spot - it would fill in the corner, likes shade, and prove less yummy to chipmunks. In order to do this I would most likely have to move the plant from the spot next to the back door on the garage. It is doing well there and I would hate to do damage it during the move.  I considered buying a new plant, but have had no luck finding the variety I am looking for this late in the spring. I may have to wait until next spring.

I also purchased a new plant, a Raspberry Splash Lungwort (Pulmonaria "Raspberry Splash'):

I have grown fond of Lungworts this year because they do well in shade and slugs seem to dislike them. This zone 5 plant should grow to about 12" and bloom in April-May. I also thought its leaf structure added some variety to the existing fern that was nearby (just right of the Buddha). The white spots on the leaves also help to differentiate it. 

In addition, I decided to replant one of the White-Variegrated Japanese Forest Grass plants just behind the Raspberry Splash Lungwort. This plants was moved at the start of the year because it wasn't getting enough light behind Buddha. I'm not sure how it will do in this new area, but it spent most of the summer in a pot, so I am hoping it will prefer this in-ground setting.

I also reworked the plants next to the back gate - they were becoming too crowded and needed to be spaced out. 

The Clumping Bamboo stayed in place while I moved the Hosta Blue Cadet closer to the box next to the garage door. I also removed and potted the Silvermound /Wormwood in an attempt to save it - it was crowded out this summer and did not get enough light. If it makes it in a pot, I might be able to use it elsewhere next spring. I then moved the White-Variegrated Japanese Forest Grass closer to the walkway to give it more growing space to assume a more rounded natural shape. 

Finally, I transplanted a Japanese Painted Fern that was almost completely covered by the Japanese Maple at the other end of the garden to the area just at the edge of the gate post. It might need some thinning out next year, but the spot looks much nicer and should do well for the rest of this year.

I also transplanted another Japanese Painted Fern to the space just next to the S-Shaped bench. 

This spot is very shady, so the fern should do well there and potentially grow larger since it is no longer crowded out they way it was in its original spot next to the back garage door box.

I had a Hens & Chicks in a small pot most of the summer that I decided to plant in-ground. 


It had done well in the pot, and as a result, I was able to split it into three separate plants. I moved an existing Five Star Dianthus from the top level of the north slope of the garden near the granite steps to make room for two of the Hens & Chicks. The third was planted in the space were I had planted the Bitterroot last week. The Bitteroot is now potted in an attempt to save it after it was damaged by a critter. The Five Star Dianthus was moved to where I had planted the Bellflower 'White Clips' Campanula - it too was potted to save it from hungry slugs who like its flowers.

You will also note that I added some small solar powered garden lights - they were only $2.50 each, nice and small, and not too bright. I'm giving them a try before I consider installing an electrical system in the future. There are currently ten spread out in the garden in various locations.