Archive for the ‘Division/Propagation’ Category

Getting more bang for your buck!

Dividing Sedum 'Lemon Coral'

Dividing Sedum 'Lemon Coral'

When shopping for perennials, it’s usually more economical to buy the smallest container available.  However sometimes that isn’t an option.  When it comes to the bigger  pots I look for ones that look like they could be easily split into 2 or even 3 plants.   Thursday when I picked up new things for my fall containers this is the approach I used.  Once you get home pull the plant out of the plastic container and look for a good area to separate.  Sometimes if the plant isn’t root bound and adequately moist you can just pull it apart with your hands.  I find the simplest method is to use an old knife.  This one is a leftover from a long since replaced kitchen set.  It’s still nice and sharp and works great for this procedure.  I just cut it down the center and voila….now I have two plants.  I did this with the sedum in the photos above (which could of been divided into more pieces) and with the Solidago and Asters.  Pretty much any plant can be done this way.  So for the two pots by the shed I used 3  6-8″ potted plants.   This saved me 50%, but if I had divided them even further it could of been a savings of 75%!   Division can be applied to existing plants which equals free plants to share with friends or put elsewhere in the garden.  This is how you get more bang for your buck.

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I’ve been out in the garden…

look-whats-coming-next-page
I spent the entire day in the garden and it was wonderful!  The weather was in the lower 60’s and cloudy so it was great weather for planting, transplanting etc…Remember those overgrown daffodils from earlier this spring that Frances told me I could divide as they were emerging?  Well I finally got around to dividing them, lol.    Here’s a list of what I accomplished today in the garden and just in time since it started raining: 
  • Divided & transplanted Daffodils into new location
  • Cleaned out and moved around 2 of the birdbaths
  • Repaired some cracks on the concrete birdbath
  • Planted another Euonymous in front foundation bed
  • Weeded &  loosed mulch in  front foundation bed
  • Helped the neighbor decide where to plant his new shrubs
  • Dug up a large patch of Grape Hyacinths that I dispersed into several areas
  • Divided some other perennials like ferns & sedums to relocate to other areas

As you can see from the collage above I also took notice of all the new life emerging on some of my shrubs and perennials.  Starting at the left the deep red shoots of Peony are a welcome sight.  Astilbes are quickly emerging from the soil.  This one is ahead of the others by at least a week.  But the bottom right photo is my favorite plant in the garden for last season.  It is the Hydrangea ‘Limelight”!  I also noticed that his little sister ‘Pinky Winky’ which was planted last fall is getting some leaf buds on it as well.   Yay April! 

It looks like rain…

photos-0041so I spent the day out in the garden moving things about again.  My ‘Robert Poore’ Phlox needed dividing.  Now is the best time to do that since they have just started to emerge.  Plant grids have been placed over them so that as they grow the centers will be better supported during heavy rains and winds.   I also moved my Salvia ‘Wild Thing’  into the center of the raised bed so that it would have more room as it got bigger. Don’t know what I was thinking when I planted it near the edge of the landscape timbers.    What a nice plant it has turned out to be so far.  It is evergreen and the leaves have turned a deep maroon color over the winter.  Should of taken a picture but when I went out to tinker I forgot my camera and by the time I remembered my hands were too dirty to stop.  😉  While I was out there I did a bit of weeding  in all of the beds.  I can’t wait to rake out the leaf mulch in a couple of weeks when the threat of heavy frosts have passed.  After several days of warm weather we are getting a cold front the remainder of the week just to remind us that it is still March.   The most unpredictable month in the year.  Warm one day, cold the next.  The photo has nothing to do with anything in particular.  I just thought I would share a pretty picture of some spring blooms from my garden.  Isn’t this a happy little vignette?  To the right you can just make out the beginnings of a deep purple Hyacinth starting to open.  If you look really close you can see the tiny cabbage like starts of the Sedum Autumn Joy, as well as some Dutch Irises and Yarrow.  Well tomorrow it is calling for rain all day so I’m glad I played in the garden today.  What did you do you do in the garden today?

In and Out Gardening

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Yesterday was a gardening day indoors and out.  The containers that came with my new seed starting light kit were potted up with Mother of Thyme seeds.  I will be leaving these containers out on the patio this spring to germinate.  Hopefully I will be able to plant the mature seedlings into the garden before May.  Thyme seeds can be sown outdoors at this time of the year, so I will be direct sowing some around the stepping stones as well.  After all you can never have too much thyme in the garden.  ( no pun intended 🙂 )  Then so I could grow more stuff indoors I purchased four 8-pack peat cell packs, more potting mix and some plant labels.  Finally was able to put that Lowe’s gift card I got for Christmas to use.  And there is still some money  left on it for something else this spring.  By the way they were setting up shelving for vegetable transplants when I was there.  Kind of early don’t you think?  Anyhow I planted the peat cell packs with  Angelonia serena, Cosmos  ‘ Psyche White’, Cayenne, Banana, and green/yellow bell peppers.  Well that was the indoor gardening I accomplished so now to the outdoor.  I had a package of yellow Ranunculus corms that needed to be planted.  Since they are borderline hardy in my area I decided to wait until we got through the wet days of winter.   There were 30 corms in the package so I planted them in groups of 10 in the New Garden in front  of the Salvia ‘Mystic Spires’ .   This bed has a color combination of purples and yellows.  While I was doing this I decided to divide the two large  Coreopsis ‘Jethro Tull’ plants that were added to the New Garden last year.  Now I have four plants that have been dispersed throughout the bed for maximum blooms this season.   It felt great to be back in the garden again.

Creating new plants

Aucuba

Aucuba

Last month I did a post called Division,  so I thought I would do a followup to that.  There are a few ways to get new perennials or shrubs for your garden that don’t cost anything.  You can take cuttings, save seed from the plant,  and division.  A few of my plants have been started from cuttings quite successfully like my Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ which was given to me as a new wood cutting about 3-4″ long.  My grandmother’s neighbor gave me a piece of it  wrapped in a damp papertowel after I had made a comment on how much I liked the interesting speckled foliage.  I rooted this cutting in a glass of water on my windowsill and when I had several roots it was planted directly in the Pecan Bed.   Now years later that cutting has become a 4 foot shrub.  Starting new perennials from seed is quite easy as well.  I’ve done this by scattering some of the seed collected into the area I would like it either early in the fall or in the spring.  Blackeyed Susans and Purple Coneflowers are a couple of perennials that are easy to propogate this way.  My favorite method of creating new plants is division.  This year I created several new baby plants from existing perennials in my garden. 

Arctotis

Arctotis

 The Arctotis or African Daisy above was a piece of an existing plant that has been coming up in my grandmother’s garden for a couple of years.  It is a bi-color purple & white daisy.  According to my Botanica’s Gardening Encyclopedia this would actually be a tender perennial hardy in zones 9-11.  So hopefully it returns to my garden next year like it has returned to my grandmother’s flowerbed. 

Jupiter's Beard

Centranthus

Centranthus ruber or Jupiter’s Beard is a short lived perennial in the garden.  I divided my existing plant into two smaller plants this fall.  It produces clusters of small star-shaped reddish pink flowers starting in late spring.  This is suppose to be one of the easiest plants to grow in the perennial garden. 

Phlox

Phlox

Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ is one of my longest blooming summer perennials at the moment.  It has been blooming non-stop since June.  To create new divisions from this plant I pull out the babies that form near the base of the plant and put a small bunch of them together to form a new plant.   So as you can see creating new plants for the garden is not only cost effective (free), but quite easy as well.  Plus if you have a plant that is a real workhorse in the garden like my Robert Poore Phlox that you spread it around for a longer season of interest in your other garden beds.  What kinds of new plants did you create this year?

Great timing pays off

Yesterday I worked on the Woodland Garden which is located on the side of the garage in my front yard.  It gets morning sun and has a variety of shade loving plants and shrubs.  My timing was impeccable today, because when I finished it started raining. 

Woodland Garden Before

Woodland Garden Before

Here is a photo showing what the garden looked like yesterday morning before I started moving plants around and amending it with compost.  It looks a little tired after our long hot & dry summer. 

Woodland Garden After

Woodland Garden After

Just adding a good layer of compost did wonders for this garden bed.  I was going to sweep the sidewalk afterwards, but once it started raining it kind of resolved the problem.  🙂

Woodland Garden (left side)

Woodland Garden (left side)

I trimmed the bottom branches of the Nandinas up to make them look like small trees.  This way I can plant a ground cover under them or other perennials.  There are Daffodils and Wood Hyacinths planted behind and between the Liropes.  I still would like to replace the Liropes with something else.  Any suggestions?

Woodland Garden (middle)

Woodland Garden (middle)

This is where most of the transplanting took place today.  I removed 3 overgrown Lirope, divided some plants to be transplanted elsewhere, and moved some ferns to the back of the border.  My Goatsbeard  was being swallowed alive by Lirope and a huge Hosta.  It has its’ own space now between the two small Euonymus.  In the process, I uncovered a large patch of Sweet Woodruff hidden under the overgrown plants.

Woodland Garden (right side)

Woodland Garden (right side)

The area where the three containers are sitting used to be the home of my TV Antenna turned trellis.  There is still a huge block of concrete under all that soil,  therefore the containers.  The large Hosta to the left is a division that was moved from beside the Goatsbeard.   Looks like I picked the perfect day to rework the Woodland Garden because the rain really helped settle in all the new transplants & compost.  Well that’s five beds completed and three to go!   Oh I have one more picture to show you……….

Arbor Bed 2008

Arbor Bed 2008

I have put the finishing touches (for now, lol) on the Arbor Bed.  I moved one Nandina from the Fountain Bed over to the far right front corner to balance out the height, moved a Dwarf Pygmy Barberry to behind the bench and planted some spring bulbs under the Nandina.  And I moved my Nelly Moser Clematis to under the new trellis on the fence.   I am happy with the way it looks.  What do you think?

A work in progress

Some projects take time to complete and the arbor garden is no exception.  I’m still moving things & putting compost in this area.  The process is taking longer because of the revamping of this area.  Here are some more areas I’ve somewhat completed thus far:

This limb has been sitting in my garden for years now.  I found it sitting on the side of the road when walking with my hubby one day.  I liked the interesting shape & thought it would be a nice organic addition to the arbor garden.  I dug up this area yesterday (including the plants) & ammended the soil.  It was very dry & tired looking.  Then I planted some Snowflake Candytuff that I moved from the new bed and some of the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy” that was originally here.  I cut the sedum back & divided it into several smaller clumps.  Behind the branch is a Verbena Bonsariesis on the left & a Monarda on the right.  Behind them I am still considering what to put here.  I need something yellow or orange to compliment the purple.  The Sweet Autumn Clematis is in the backdrop of this corner of the Arbor bed. 

This area used to have the Spirea that I moved up to the front of the bed.  I moved a Peony that was growing under one of the Nandinas to this area so that it would get more sunlight.  It’s never bloomed and I think the light conditions are the culprit.  If you enlarge the picture you will make out the cut back stems growing under the grid support.  This Peony was given to me from a neighbor who was dividing up a large bush she had in her yard. I didn’t even realize you divide Peonies, so this was interesting.  I’m not sure, but I think the color is a reddish pink.  I intend to move the daylillies (after dividing them) that are to the far right to another location and planting a red rose in this area.  I would also like to place a trellis or two on this part of the fence to grow vines one.  I’m considering moving my Nelly Moser & the Pink Bonita Rose from the Arbor to this area.  Neither one of them bloom for a long period so I thought of growing an annual vine on the arbor next year instead for a longer season of bloom.  Maybe the Cypress vine which I purchased a packet of seeds for last month. It is a mixed variety that has flowers in pink, red & white. 

This is the new open space under the ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea that I created after pruning it into a tree form earlier this month.  I have already planted several varieties of shade loving plants here.  This area gets dappled morning sun with afternoon shade.  I have the Gentian, Hostas, Ferns, Solomon’s Seal and a Skull’s cap Hyssop planted in this area.  In the upper right hand corner one of the Forever & Ever Hydrangeas is happily  situated here as well.  I had to prune off some of the foliage that had gotten burned or damaged and it is putting out new foliage as we speak. Some things just need a new location to be happy productive perennials in the garden.