Friday, November 7, 2014

Looking Back...

A favorite photo of my mom and Julia in the garden, 1991
I've gotten a lot done in the garden this week. I've been outside for a few hours each day when I'm not working, and I've cut down all the peonies in the front garden and the side garden,  raked leaves out of the garden beds, cut down all the annuals in the garden. I always struggle with what to cut down and what to leave for the winter...basically if it's brown and ugly I cut it down, if it's green I leave it. At least for now, until I can't stand it anymore. I've emptied all of the smaller pots, but my big pots are still big and bloomy, so I'll keep those around until the frosts kills them off.  All my pots are emptied into the garden, and I chop up the dirt and annuals with a shovel.

All this clean up and garden organization makes me do some record keeping in my garden journal, notes about what has done well and what I need to do next spring (spray peonies with fungicide, get more lime green heucheras, pull out some anemones, etc.). And inevitably I look back to see what perennials still survive. I first planted my lavenders ('Munstead') in 1990 and I still have them! Also still thriving from that 1990 planting are phlox 'Miss Lingard,' candytuft,  lychnis alpina, salvia, bleeding heart, baptisia, achillea, and daisies. I was really curious about my anemones ('September Charm')-- I planted two plants of them in 1991 and now they have spread to one quarter of my front garden. It's pretty amazing I've had these perennials for nearly 25 years and they are still strong and healthy. Of course I have lost tons of plants...I can't even tell you how many lupines I have planted, and campanulas and delphiniums and foxgloves. Obviously I should be living in England where these plants will grow.

Walt tilling my garden, March 1990

Early garden, 1990
One year old tree peony, May 1991
And tree peony, 23 years late, May 2014

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