Transplanting and throne room music

Most of my productivity seems to have been outside in the garden this week.

I’ve been bitching about my squirrel issues, which seem to be done for now (fingers crossed!). One of the things I’ve been mindful of is making sure there isn’t any large or sturdy branch within 6 feet of the roof. A severe pruning of the backside of the big Japanese maple in the front yard took care of most of that, but then there’s the future issues: I had to move some baby trees and shrubs.

Also, projects over the last couple years that took far longer than expected meant that there have been some large areas of the small patch of backyard lawn I still have that have been under tarps and piles of rocks for long enough to kill the grass. So… never mind. Those dead spots (and the areas connecting them) will become a new large mixed border featuring the plants I needed to move.

These included a ‘Yellow Ribbon’ cedar, which will eventually be 10-15′ tall and 3-5′ wide:

a ‘Silver Snow’ Korean fir:

and a ‘Purple Pillar’ hibiscus, which could get to be 12′ tall and a couple feet wide and covered with these flowers from July through first frost in October:

(Pic is from last September, of course; right now it looks like a bunch of dead twigs, same as my other hibiscuses, and it will continue to look dead til somewhere in June.)

I also have a bunch of plants on order including a few daylilies, a yellow kniphofia, a couple peonies, three climbing roses to shroud the fence, and a ton of irises.

I still have to move all the damn rocks, too. They will be used to make little stone circles in different beds and probably as edging along paths, too. The gravel will go into pathways and the cement chunks will go to my dad’s place. I’ll probably have to lay down cardboard in between plantings this year to kill the remaining grass within the future bed.

It’s funny – there was a massive orange daylily by the front door when I bought the place, which was too big for the spot and the foliage blocked half the front steps (which are admittedly too narrow). I dug it up and gifted it to my father, who planted it… somewhere… I guess… and for the first year I swore I would forego any damn daylilies. But last summer when Dad finished removing the giant magnolia stump by the front fence, I found a small and pretty daylily that I couldn’t resist and that I incorporated into the mixed border up there.

And then this week I was flipping through the Breck’s website and got suckered into buying three more: ‘Enchanted Forest’, ‘Entrapment’, and ‘Spiny Sea Urchin’.

In my defense, these are all much prettier than the one I got rid of, and will be planted where they have room to grow without blocking the front door access.

I also have a bunch of bulbs that I ran out of time to plant in the fall and thus just crammed them into large pots for this spring, which will all get replanted into this bed once the foliage dies down over the summer. And I bought a bunch more summer bulbs on a recent trip to Walmart; y’know, lilies and the like.

In the cedar and the Korean fir’s original spots, I planted a daphne and a pieris that I had in pots which will stay small enough to not provide the goddamn squirrels with much of a launching pad.

I also moved an ‘Angel Face’ rose that was languishing in its original location to the other side of the yard where it should get more sun… I know the damn thing bloomed last year because it has a couple fat rosehips on it, but apparently I didn’t take any photos of it in bloom last year. I thought I had one from when it was freshly planted, but upon closer inspection, I could barely make out that the tag said ‘Heirloom,’ another of the roses I bought the same day.

So, here’s a pic of the poor thing as of today, in its new home:

It didn’t really get much bigger than when first planted, since the area it was in had more shade than I realized, plus it got blasted this winter with out couple big snow dumps that broke some canes off to make it even more pitiful looking. It’s certainly sad-looking and undersized compared to its friends who were bought the same day in 2019 and planted elsewhere, but it should make a full recovery in its new spot, a few feet away from my new ‘The Lady Gardener’ rose which is still small (only planted last summer) but which seems to love its spot and bloomed continuously until frost.

‘Angel Face’ does at least have one good cane at the moment, and that has a couple strong buds, so here’s hoping.

For comparison, here’s ‘Arctic Blue’ that was planted at the same time in 2019 in a sunnier spot 10′ away from where I just replanted ‘Angel Face,’ and which has not been messed with since:

(I still gotta clean up this bed, lol…)

And I planted almost 50 violas close to my sidewalk and some random saxifrage and lavenders.

What else… I’ve been writing a little new music, which a friend of mine describes as “Emperor Palpatine’s throne room music.” I’ll take that, lol…

And I’ve been doing some more digital collages.

And lastly, perhaps next week I’ll have pics of these ‘Replete’ daffodils all opened up:

Post-script to the squirrels: We got that bitch out of my house just in the nick of time.

I was just out to look at garden stuff and take some pics for this post and the whole backyard is filled with whining/squeaking noises. The neighbors have a tree with some rotted out hollows where huge branches were removed at some point, and that’s where the fat grey squirrel was keeping watch and where the squeaks are coming from inside the hollows. So she just had the babies today or yesterday.

And they’re loud, you can hear the squeaks throughout the property outside, would drive me insane if it was in my attic or soffits.

Lady, good for you that you had your litter, but where you had them in the tree hollow is where they belong. Stay out of my house.