Once I have a garden idea in my head, I can’t let go of it. Even if it is a half-ass thought, I need to take action so I’m able to move on with my day. Now if I could only find a way to have that same issue with a money making scheme, I’d be in good shape.
Last fall I found myself consistently analyzing one section of a garden bed, wanting to extend it so it would dramatically impact the views from both the driveway and my back deck. The funny thing is, I had just extended that same section of the garden the year before.
And by autumn of last year, I had filled that newly found empty garden space with a number of plants.
The intelligent planner would have completed the one giant extension at one time, determining then that there was plenty of room for expansion and why not maximize that within one project. But not this guy, he had to break it out into two long and grueling sessions over the course of two years.
And here’s the rub – by extending the same section further, the plants that were used and filled the original extension now would look silly and out of place since what was the front now would become the middle. Everything would have to be relocated to account for proper heights.
So dummy pushed on and started to map out the extended bed by using cardboard to kill the grass and rocks to keep the cardboard in place.
I then added mulch before winter set in to keep it all in place and to ideally aid in the breakdown of the cardboard at the same time the grass died.
Fast forward to spring and the number one goal this season is to get that open section filled by the start of summer. The pictures don’t really do it justice, it is a huge open spot and it will be a hell of a job to fill it. Not to mention expensive buying the necessary plants.
Or maybe, if John was smart, he could pull it off without paying a dime. Maybe he could divide existing perennials and turn 3 into like 9 or 10. Maybe he could relocate some reseeded perennials that were hidden under large shrubs and in crevices. Maybe he could divide a grass that has been begging to be cleaned up and divided for years now. And maybe, just maybe, he could finally take some of those small shrubs that have been wasting away in the “bullpen” (my term for the embarrassing always under construction bed I never reveal to you all) and put them to good use.
And yes you guessed it, John did do all of that. He’s good.
Four years ago I planted three Obedient plants (‘Vivid’) and now, thanks to their underground runners, 3 has become close to 50.
What they look like in August:
And how the small divisions look today:
I had at least 15 small Yarrow plants popping up all over the garden through reseeding over the years and now they are all reunited in one section of the garden to achieve the greatest visual impact in summer.
The aforementioned grass was Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’ which looks like this in summer:
And like this, after 1 became three (actually 4, the other section went back to the original location).
Allium ‘Mt Sinai’ was being overtaken by weeds and not reaching its fullest potential.
So it too was divided and doubled and used to fill in various open spaces in the newly extended bed and elsewhere.
And finally, a Weigela of some sort that I took home from a conference in 2014 and hid in a remote locale, was saved and put in a prominent spot in my new bed where she can feel free to spread her wings and grow to her heart’s content.
Total cost (if you ignore my labor) is $0.00. And there is more where that came from. I’ve still got irises to divide and grasses to divide and plenty of coneflower volunteers that need a new home.
Not only am I saving money, but by increasing the count of my perennials, I am adding repetition to my garden design and creating greater visual impact by using larger numbers of the same plant.