Well, not exactly… but reusing existing plants to create a new garden space in our yard feels just as sweet.
I invested in some perennials during the springtime when I was accenting the deck with potted plants, and it paid off in the sense that I was able to enjoy and nurture the plants during the summer, and then again when I transitioned those plants into the earth into what will hopefully be a sustainable garden bed. With a brief moment of regret, I realized last night that I never purposely photographed how those plants (both perennials and annuals) expanded over the course of a few months while potted–it got pretty crowded in there. The below photo was actually taken in late April:
The strawberries were by far most aggressive of all of the plants, shooting roots downwards between the deck boards and quite often needing to be twisted into what can only be described as plant-dreads to keep their twirling tendrils under wraps. We scored only one berry, and it was the size of my pinkie finger nail, maybe smaller, but because it didn’t have a lot of soil to grow into, I’m not that surprised.
The rubbery Stonecrop was our second most-productive plant and most productive perennial, cascading many new branches down along the edges of the big pot in a radical way and then bending them back upright towards the sky. Another winner was the wormwood, a plant known for its quick expansion; the ranunculus ceased its blooming cycle by July, well-timed with the wormwood’s launch into full-on growth mode. Dude owned the whole blue floral pot by the end of the same month and is now about the size of three heads of cabbage.
To transition our plants, I targeted this “garden,” a long stretch along the eastern side of the property with a shared chain link fence that was left to overgrow all summer (serious whomp-whomp). Innocently enough, I thought that pumpkins and cilantro from last season had self-seeded into the garden bed, and in a fully optimistic state of mind, I waited it out to see if I was right. Not surprisingly but with great disappointment, no little pumpkies, so I had no residual concerns about removing all of the gobs of weeds that had grown in their place.
Side note: Despite a very dry summer, our grass has never been more lush. We’re so lucky!
We’re not huge fans of the rose bushes that have overtaken much of our shared fence (our neighbor concurs) but we haven’t removed/transplanted them yet. To make room for the perennials, I cleared out all of the unwanted weed madness and tilled the garden to loosen the soil, and then dropped all of the original perennials into the soil (with their full root ball from the planter), and watered them generously.
I do roll my eyes at myself when I think about how lame-o my gardening efforts are. Coming from a girl who wants acres of luxuriously garden-filled space some day, I know that this little backyard is an impossibly long way from being a garden tour house stop.
Here’s to hoping they begin to thrive happily in their new home before our first frost, and then flourish in the springtime to grant us a whole new garden bed.
How’ve you been tending to your gardens in the late summer?