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Before the Storm


Planting a new bed is exciting, but also has elements of discomfort. Its kind of like letting your hair grow out – there is that wretched in between stage, neither long nor short. But there is always the vision of what it will be. After I had a strong young man remove the sod from the end of one of our Lawn Beds, the soil was revealed as dry and not promising. Still I finally had a space to put the sourwood tree I had gotten weeks ago. I also moved the small azaleaa that had never done much and was getting crowded where it was.

The second thing to do was to call Bear Path Farm and order 4 yards of stellar compost for this bed, and various other spots in the vegetable gardens. The peonies, too. After that came a happy visit with Lilian Jackman at Wilder Hill Farm; I bought a caryopteris, a northern sea oats, a fountain juniper and an artemesia lactiflora. I got all but the juniper in the ground where they could revel in the newly enriched soil. The juniper will be planted when I get more of the compost distributed. I felt like a good housekeeper speading out a clean tablecloth when I shoveled on and spread a final 4 inch layer of compost over the whole bed.

The plants are all healthy and they will grow and increase. They have room to do so. But the bed was so bare. There was nothing for it but to stop at the Shelburne Farm and Garden Center. Two New England asters, and one golden mum will at least give some color for us to enjoy when we sit at our dining table.

I planted and raced inside just as the Hanna rains arrived to water them well.

2 comments to Before the Storm

  • Doctor Mom

    Sourwood is such a beautiful tree! What a nice bed you’ve put together.

  • Pat Leuchtman

    Thanks for the kind words. I’ve already divided a couple of Siberian irises and put them into the new bed. I’m thinking that this might be a good place to put some dahlias in the spring. They will take up space, give me good cutting flowers and they won’t be permanent.

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