I have big plans for this Labor Day--big garden plans, that is. The remaining mulch pile needs to be spread around the plants that never got it when they should have in the late spring, for one thing. And the little girls next door, who are adorable but who impede my "me time" in the garden like you wouldn't believe, just got into the truck with their Mom and drove away with many bags of food and picnic items tucked around them... so I hope that means they plan a long day of fun away from the house.
Taking a preliminary walk around the garden this morning, I found a few things to be content about. Not only are my 'Ozark' strawberries continuing to provide sweet red berries, but they are covered with flowers that promise an extended harvest. Even better, the gifted 'Party Dress' Japanese anemone has decided to open its first bloom! The flowers are amazingly beautiful, and now that I know they are prone to flopping, I will be better prepared to give them a little lift next year.
It seems that I finally found the right place for my small ornamental onion, allium senescens glaucum. Its previous companions either dwarfed it entirely or simply did nothing to show off its fun, twisty foliage.
I moved it to what I think of as the "dry garden," where (except for an amended area where an espalier apple grows) the soil is sandy and barren. It's really nice combined there with 'Caradonna' salvia, 'Arthur Branch' sedum, 'Newe Ya'ar' culinary sage, 'Vodoo' sedum, and various flat, rusty-colored fieldstones. They form a little textural tapestry that you have to look over when you reach the end of the garden path, in order to view the Japanese rock garden.
(And I can't say enough about that 'Caradonna' salvia, by the way. I gave away my last 'May Night' in order to make room for more 'Caradonnas' because their flower stems are a dark purple color that deepen the blue flowers. It gives them so much more presence IMHO.)
The 'Diablo' purple ninebark seems to be adjusting to its new home without a peep of complaint. I picked up three 'Frosted Curls' carex grasses in the annuals clearance section of our local garden center, and placed the pots underneath the ninebark branches to see if I would like this combo as much as I thought I would. (I do!)
This carex was listed as hardy to zone 7 on the tag, but I successfully overwintered three of them last year after buying them from another source where they were listed as hardy to zone 6. We did have good groundcover in the form of lots of snow this winter, though, so I'm going to hedge my bets and mulch over them in December.
My other big job for the day will be to plant the variegated iris and lamium that I "stole" yesterday from my grandma's and mom's house, respectively. I say "stole" in quotation marks because they both have allowed me to take divisions of these plants before and I knew neither one would care if I did so again. But technically, I didn't ask before picking up the shovel... and I have a good reason for that, I promise.
The lamium seems to transplant with no problem, but grandma's variegated iris are the only ones that I can't get to take here. (Siberians, various tall bearded types... they all grow like crazy.) Since one garden superstition says that stolen plants tend to thrive--ostensibly to increase the guilt of the thief--I'm banking on that to happen for me in this case! Maybe that in combination with the "Third time's the charm" rule will mean that I get to enjoy a nice patch of variegated iris next year? I hope.