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Monday, April 14, 2008

Miserly Me


This morning is crisp and clear. I could see my breath as I walked around the garden with camera in hand. The weather channel said we are a few degrees above freezing but in several spots the lawn crunched under my foot steps.

The weekend was glorious, I spent hours upon hours digging, dividing and cleaning the garden. For the first time ever I dug the huge clump of Lychnis 'Jenny' seen above and divided it. I potted up 7 nice sized chunks and put three pieces back in the garden for me. It will be a few years before I have enough to offer again.

Centaurea montana was also potted up. I just checked my favorite garden catalog for the botanical name on this plant and was surprised to find it isn't even offered for sale! This plant has never seeded for me but the clump had grown huge so once again, I potted up 8 pieces and put three back in the garden.

Oenothera tetragona is another simple cottage plant. It seems the old fashioned plants can be hard to find at some nurseries. I found a new cache of these under the red maple out back and will be potting them like crazy.

What is it about me that makes me so miserly with certain plants? This sweet Geranium has formed a huge clump but I can barely make myself think of digging in to it. The same goes for the Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegata' behind it. I have at least 8 different plantings of this beauty but I am only willing to part with a dozen pots a year.

Later this week I'd like to do a show and tell on splitting & planting Sempervivum (Hens & chicks) and tell you how I keep them alive through the winter. With the next two nights flirting with freezing temperatures I'd like to wait for a bit of warmth again before taking them out of their pots.

Time for woolly socks and a hooded sweatshirt, I'm off to the garden again.

11 comments:

Nancy J. Bond said...

It's woolly socks and hoodie weather here in NS again -- but, sun's on the way. They say. :) You had a very productive weekend.

Cinj said...

I wouldn't call that miserly, it's not like you keep it all to yourself! I would love to be able to find the time to go back to my old garden and do some of that splitting plants. Do you think the possibly soon to be owners would mind? It's not like I'd be stealing all of my babies, just enough to give myself a decent start here without going broke!

Sorry to hear it's gotten cold there. Today is 40 here already and it's supposed to get to 50. It's about time I get a little decent weather!

(Hmm, apparently I can't sign in. At least it didn't erase my words this time!)

ourfriendben said...

Wow Melanie, I'm impressed that you can bear to give away *any* of your plants. Good for you!!! My variegated false Solomon's seal has really taken off in the creekside garden, making a fine show with the Virginia bluebells, trout lilies, wild ginger, trilliums, Allegheny pachysandra, and Dutchman's breeches. Give it away?! No way!

Dave said...

That doesn't sound miserly at all! You want to be sure that you can sustain what you have. Besides it sounds like you do so much for your plant sales that having a few plants set aside is definitely not miserly.

chey said...

I don't blame you Melanie. It's difficult to disturb perfection. Wonderful photos!

We had snow today, but it didn't stick around:).

Frances, said...

Lovely, I think you are more than generous with your plants. I have that geranium polygonatum combo growing together also. The poly has been divided many times, seems to grow even larger, so take the shovel to it! The geranium seeds all over, but is smaller and slower growing. Hope you can stay warm!

Julie said...

The Centaurea montana sure is gorgeous!!! I doubt it would grow here in zone 10, I've never seen it here....sure is pretty tho!!!

Anna said...

Your are humble and gracious. I doubt anyone knows what a sacrifice it is for you dig up your treasures. I was bone chilled this afternoon too. I came home after work and turned on the fire. I think we've got flurries outside right now but I'm not getting up to look. I don't have any plants out there yet to worry about.

Melanie said...

Hi Nancy, yes it was a productive weekend. I'm just itching to get back out there but we are just at freezing right now so will have to wait a few hours.

Cinj, you should definitely go back and get pieces of those plants. When we moved here I took all my daylilies and pieces of some of the perennials. We simply included it in our paperwork when we went to contract. As it was, only months later I drove past the house and they had ripped out the rest of my gardens. I should have taken more!

ourfriendben, I used to give away so many plants that I started leaving them at the curb with a sign that said "take me,please". Now that they are going to a great cause (helping to defray the kids costs of marching band camp) I feel fantastic!

Dave, you are right. Last year though a woman complained to my husband that I didn't dig enough Phlox. She pointed to the clumps in the garden and said "look at all she has, she could have dug so much more". My husband told her that since I was giving the plants away it was my own decision as to how much to dig.

chey, I'm glad your snow didn't stick. What part of Nova Scotia do you live in? I can't tell you how many times we toyed with the idea of buying a vacation home there.

Frances, yes, I'll be digging that polygonatum...I just always want more!

Julie, this Centaurea might not grow in zone 10 but another variety might. There are a number of different Centaureas, I have one coming in the mail next week.

Anna, a fire sounds so nice! Last night I should have done that while curling up on the couch with a book. Our fireplace is the old fashioned kind though, have to actually lug the wood in here for it to burn.

It's nice not to rush this morning to get a post up. It's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day but I need another two or three hours before I can get out and take those photographs. It's just too cold right now.

Eleanor said...

Autumn is slowly creeping in here in South Africa. Today I planted my spring bulbs - only indigeneous bulbs. Some trees are starting to change colour but autumn is a gentle affair in this part of the world. Enjoy your spring garden! Eleanor at Thatchwick

MELISSA MANNON said...

you are a few weeks ahead of us there it seems. We've got crocus now and the snow is still melting. Lvoe seeing what's in your garden in my old hometown! :)