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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Kitchen bed rehab

Wednesday night I put my money where my mouth is with the kitchen beds. I'd called out to the local nursery to see if it was too late to plant bare root plants, and lo and behold, a sale! But hurry since inventory is going quickly and the plants need to be in the ground ASAP.

What, you've never heard of bare-root plants? They're dormant plants which are sold pretty much as the roots and above-ground plant, but without any dirt to form a root ball or any foliage on the stems. You plant them early in the spring and voila! a plant. They look like this when you pick them up from the nursery:
Bare-root plants should be soaked for at least an hour in water prior to planting.

Here's what the bed looked like before I started.
The first step was to sweep back all of the soil pep we use as a ground cover. No need to waste that stuff.

I also dug up all of the spring bulbs in this bed, for replanting once I'd installed the main plants. I planted these bulbs in October of 2009, so they've been in the ground about 18 months. It was cool to see how they'd grown side bulbs:




Then I laid down an old plastic shower curtain to use as a drop cloth to pile the extra soil I'd be taking out of the ground. I also set out the new plants I wanted to install, in order to decide where each species would go.

I mentioned a desire for boxwoods, forsythia and burning bush in my earlier post. Guess what the nursery was out of in bare root plants? So what did I come home with instead?

Well, the sales girl convinced me of a dwarf cranberry viburnum bush. It'll look like this in the spring,

And then this in the fall:

I also picked up a dwarf Fritsch Spirea, which will look like this in the spring:

And this in the fall:

Those two shrubs will go at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock, in the bed respectively. Between the two shrubs, at 11 o'clock, I added an Annabelle Hydrangea, which will look like this:

I also transplanted the "Wine Delight" daylilly I planted last year. I'll look like this (someday):

Once the big plants were in, I re-installed the spring bulbs. The bed will continue to be anchored by irises, which bloom purple in the mid-summer, and Black-eyed-Susans, which bloom a bright yellow from late summer through the first frost. I alternated tulips, daffofil, tulips, muscari and tulips, just at the edge of the bed.

So how does it look now that it's finished? Well... brown. At least until the plants grow in. But I'm excited to see them take off!

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