What beautiful, warm days we've had this weekend! They've left me wishing that I could get out into the garden and do a little cleanup, get some dirt up under my fingernails for the last time in 2008, and generally sneak in a little garden therapy.
Today, I got home from work with a little bit of precious daylight left, so I put on my gloves (winter, not gardening!) and headed outside to finish up a few chores. First, I had some clearance bulbs to plant:
As I've mentioned, I like to take photos of the packages in situ as I'm planting my bulbs... so come spring I can look up last year's photos and know what to expect from the green tufts that emerge. I thought that I had finished up my planting very late last year... but looking back, I see that I beat this year's date by two weeks! YIKES am I late this year... :)
This blurry photo shows the Japanese gardening knife, or hori-hori, that I received at Christmas:
It has one smooth, sharp edge and one serrated edge, both tempered. It's great to use for inserting small bulbs of species tulips (above) and Dutch iris (below) into patches of small scale groundcovers.
(As you can see, anything brought into the garden must pass the strict sniff test of my Gardening Assistant. Once it is deemed to be not immediately edible--i.e., not a tomato, green bean, or strawberry--I am allowed to carry on with my business!)
I had a few other pressing jobs to do in the garden as well. While digging up a huge clump of deep-red-flowering gladiolus bulbs, I spied the little rosettes of new growth at the base of my 'Hab Gray' sedum:
I had neglected to keep my chocolate eupatorium deadheaded as well as I probably should have this fall... so I cut it back after documenting its beauty here:
I had plenty of free plants (thanks to my part-time job at a local garden center) to heel in also, including (3) 'Carolina Moonlight' baptisia, a few fancy heuchera and tiarella, some acanthus, 3 or 4 'Espresso' geraniums, many red sedums, and a couple of shrubs and climbers.
While walking back and forth to where they had been stashed for the past few weeks, I couldn't help but admire again the brigh orange pyracantha berries mixed in with Little Bluestem. I know that I've showed this before, that orange and pink (which I don't even like!) shouldn't mix, etc., but I just can't get enough of this little combination:
One other notable gardening thing: I am trying my best this year to make friends with daylilies. I still don't particularly want them in my garden, but I read something in one of the gardening magazines about unusual plants to force indoors, and daylilies were among them.
Frankly, anything is welcome in bloom indoors in the very early spring... even daylilies! So I picked up 'Bela Lugosi' (I would have bought him for his name only, but I also figured that he would have a lovely, dark coloring) as a freebie and have just now brought him inside to get him restarted. I'll let you know how my admittedly unscientific experiment with Bela goes as 2009 unfolds... Happy New Year, everyone!