Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Planting Bulbs in the Shade Garden

Tuesday was one of those perfect Fall days. The sky was blue, the sun was shining on every changing leaf, the wind was still calm (before the wind really hits Wednesday!), and it was WARM. It was a perfect day to clean up the Shade Garden and start planting bulbs. I think I planted 119 (start the 2012 Bulb tally), and still want to put in some allium. And maybe some hyacinths. Somehow we have purchased a lot of hyacinth bulbs. Oh, I also need (as always) more muscari bulbs to finish the edges. And maybe a few yellow daffodils to balance out the ones on the "old" side...

I also did a lot of weeding. Thistles have been a rather major issue this year, and they are stubborn. Just when you pull five, root and all, ten more pop up. I've left the frost stricken skeletons of the impatiens in place because they mark the curving path so well. That is where I want to plant a LOT of muscari and really edge the path.
For today, however, I was happy to plant some along the Eastern edge where the Hydrangea Border meets the Shade Garden.

I believe there is a picture of little muscari Armeniacum (or grape hyacinth) bulbs like this every year on the blog. They are just so perfect for edging! And multiply so happily and reliably. And I LOVE them!
All the grass-like leaves on the left are the muscari I planted just last year along the Western edge of the Shade Garden. They have multiplied so much over the summer, and I love that they shoot up leaves in the fall-it really helps one see where they are planted. The Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla) has also filled in quite nicely!
The two little boxwood from my friends the Duke and Duchess of Staipple's Summer wedding have at long last found a home on either side of the path leading into the Shade Garden from the patio. Close to the rest of the boxwood, I cannot wait to watch them grow.

Did I ever mention we planted a Japanese Maple? Well, it was $10 on clearance, so I snatched it up. Even though the ancient locust tree that casts the (high) shade over the Shade Garden is the healthier of the two trees in the backyard, I always have a fear of another ice storm ripping limbs off and then what? The Shade Garden would suffer for a lack of, well, shade! So I thought some slow growing trees might do the trick. I've also considered adding a dogwood or an Eastern redbud. Both trees that will grow slow and not too imposingly, but will be a sort of back up in case anything happened to the big guy.

The tree I bought is an Acer palmatum 'Inaba Shidare'. It grows well in a woodland setting, so high shade should be perfect. It has a cascading nature, so as it grows it may need to be pruned up a bit, but we can wait to worry about that once it actually starts growing. Fingers crossed.
This section is where the majority of the bulbs went. About forty pink-cupped daffodils (to grow in harmony with the pink-cupped daffodils on the opposite side of the path planted two years ago) as well as apricot and deep reddish-magenta tulips. I tucked a few frittilaria 'Uva-vulpis' in a few spots, as well. I still have about twenty four (or more) allium to plant randomly in both beds, but I need to get more tulips for the other side of the path. Oh, and LOTS of muscari. Have I mentioned muscari?
A look over the White Garden at the old section of the Shade Garden at the back of the house. Everything forward from about four feet out from the back of the house is new. The trellis at the corner held a beautiful clematis that suddenly got clematis wilt and died this summer. Not sure what I want to plant there in the Spring. 
I forgot to take pictures of these outside (with better light), so snapped a few pics at home. The daffodils...

...and the tulips. We have some hyacinths that are close in color to the 'Ronaldo' tulips, so maybe they will go in somewhere. It really doesn't matter, I guess, since Spring bulbs look lovely with other Spring bulbs no matter how they are planted. 

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