Gardening at the End of February

It was a busy gar­den week­end here at Black Dog Farm. We start­ed with a trip to Mol­baks to take advan­tage of their 30% off bare-root and b&b trees and shrubs.

We start­ed with some­thing to go in front of the three cedars. The ear­ly white blooms of this mag­no­lia shrub will light­en up the dark corner.

Magnolia stellata Royal Star

balled and burlapped mag­no­lia ready to go in

Dig­ging the hole for the mag­no­lia was lit­tle nerve wrack­ing. There are irri­ga­tion pipes every­where. This one isn’t actu­al­ly split — though all that water run­ning into the hole made us ner­vous for a cou­ple of minutes.

oh dear

it’s not what it looks like

We added two oth­er shrubs to the front bed. Spireas have nice lit­tle white flow­ers ear­ly in the spring and the bright green foliage will make a nice back­drop for more col­or­ful flow­ers in the summer.

Spirea thunbergii

bare root spirea

Spirea thunbergii

spireas in front of the oak-leaved ashes

It was hard stick­ing to the bare-root sec­tion at the nurs­ery. I did pret­ty well, but I just had to have these lenten rose for the library window.

Hellebore "Ivory Prince'

nice lenten rose

hellebore, grass, irises

lenten ros­es bloom­ing and iris start­ing grown

The last plant we bought (and we had to go back for it with the trail­er) was replace­ment for the Kore­an Dog­wood that froze out 2 years ago. Red­buds are a lot hardier. Jim liked the shape of this con­tort­ed weeper.

Cercis canadensis "Covy" - Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud

weep­ing red­bud for the end of the rock wall 

Cedrcis canadensis "Covey" Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud

fat red buds!

We’re still play­ing catch up with reha­bil­i­tat­ing the trees that were improp­er­ly plant­ed 6 years ago. So far we’ve had two die. This cedar is doing okay but look at those roots, aren’t roots sup­posed to grown down?

badly planted weeping alaska cedar

roots are sup­posed to grown down not out

The Black Dog Ivan. What can I say…

ivan

ivan was supervising

Things are start­ing to get going. This fat old peony is send­ing up it’s shoots. They’re so red! They’re also brittle.

peony

fat roots, lit­tle shoots

Last Octo­ber I fell for one of those mixed bags of spring bulbs. In this case retic­u­lat­ed iris and some unnamed species tulip. There were 25 or 30 bulbs (I think) I’ve seen three iris­es and 2 tulips. Bloody deer. Chewed them all off. I’ve nev­er had much faith in deer repel­lents but I’m des­per­ate enough to start throw­ing away money 😉

reticulated iris

a bit fad­ed now

tiny tulips

pur­ple!

I also did some ear­ly trim­ming in the herb gar­den. The rose­mary may have sur­vived the win­ter. I can’t tell yet. One of the things I cleaned out was the wash­tub that holds the clothes line post and the mint. Hun­dreds of tiny mint plants.

Mentha

tiny mint plants

Also com­ing up are the lilies. Time to put out slug bait.

Asiatic Lilties

start­ing to appear — lilies

asiatic lily

amaz­ing that this will be 4 feet tall by august.

I’m hop­ing for anoth­er dry week­end, there’s a lot of plant­i­ng to do!