Let’s not talk about the driveway, and especially not about the ways in which the sewer work is complicating the driveway installation. Let’s just say that the new driveway should be done on Tuesday, and that until then there can be no planting in the Driveway Border.

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Current state of driveway and path to front door.

However, I did get a fair amount of planting done this weekend. In fact, I bought a new  tool to inaugurate the fall planting season: a Fiskar’s soil knife, also known as a hori hori. The sharp blade lets you cut easily through soil, roots, and crowns.

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Plus it comes with a little scabbard you can attach to your belt, and when I slide the knife into the scabbard I feel like a character on Game of Thrones.

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Martagon Lily bulbs

But anyhow, I started by planting 54 Alliums and 6 ‘Sunny Morning’ Martagon Lilies in the back garden. This is my second try with Martagon Lilies – the ones I planted last year were eaten by rabbits. This time I will surround with chicken wire as soon as they emerge. Also, I’m interplanting them with Allium stipatum ‘Mt. Everest’, which are unpalatable to rabbits.

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Allium ‘Mt. Everest’ bulbs

All of the new Alliums for the back have white blooms. There’s also 25 each of A. karataviense and A. amplectens ‘Graceful Beauty’.

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Alliums will help to fill in this border.

These were planted in the border along the alley fence and in front of the ‘Golden Raindrops’ crabapple.

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Patches of Royal Catchfly, Meadow Blazingstar, and Stiff Goldenrod have been added to the Island Bed.

In terms of perennials, I added patches of 5-7 each of the following: Meadow Blazingstar (Liatris ligulistylis), Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea) and Stiff Goldenrod (Oligoneuron rigidum). (Yes, Goldenrods are now Oligoneuron, not Solidago. Excuse me for a second.)

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Where were we? Oh, yes. I was disappointed by the size of the Liatris corms, less than a quarter inch each in diameter.

The Goldenrod, Catchfly, and Blazingstar are all going into the Island Bed. To make way for all them I dug out a bunch of hardy Geraniums, Rudbeckia volunteers (R. triloba and R. fulgida), and a BIG clump of Palm Sedge (Carex muskingumensis) that was a lot of work to move.

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New England Aster in the Island Bed

The newcomers will stand in front of the New England Asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum), and Sweet Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum).

My plan for next weekend is to plant the remaining bulbs: 200 Tulips and 200 Daffodils. These will go into the Driveway Border and the Parkway Bed.

Are you doing any planting this fall? Any new plants you’re excited about?

42 Comments on “What I Planted This Weekend

  1. Wow, you are ahead of me with bulb planting. But perhaps I can get started next weekend as the weather is supposed to improve then. That knife would have been useful for me yesterday while trying to empty a pot full of dying annuals and ivy. The ivy roots had taken over! I have done some autumn planting, just filling gaps really with the same of what I already have, but I am excited to see my new Chrysanthemums should be opening soon. 🙂 Good luck with the driveway project!

    • The Chrysanthemums can provide a lot of color. I’ve still got a long way to go on bulbs – 200 tulips and 200 daffs, and I just ordered 100 Chionodoxa.

  2. Love reading your posts! I’m sure the liatris will come no problem, they are awesome plants, just that hit of blue when you need it. I have moved my cup plant, it got so huge in the partially shaded garden, it almost got to 12′. I put it in more sun where it doesn’t have to stretch so much.I am doing the same as you, moving around perennials and getting new ones in hopes of more colour. I will be moving liatris and putting daylilies with them. Daylilies will bloom first then the liatris will take over. I also put a new invincible hydrangea shrub in the same area so between the three and self seeded cosmos, I should be OK. We just had a hard frost, I covered all the dahlias but some still got fried. Winter is sneaking in. I did get bulbs for when I remove the dahlias and I will put the liatris with the bulbs(daffadils, tulips and alliums). It’s a deer area so hoping to hide the scent of the tulips with the daffs and alliums. Hopefully the bulbs will all die down by the time it needs to grow. Always a guessing game. We are going to have to learn a whole new vocabulary of latin names, all this DNA testing, everything will change, very painful. Hope you have a great day,Happy Gardening!

    • I’m trying to mix daffs and tulips to deter the varmints. Fortunately no deer, just rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks. So glad you enjoy the blog! Happy gardening to you!

  3. Reading your post has given me some incentive to get out and do something. It has been so hot and dry here until yesterday that I haven’t done much. Not knowing when this drought is going to break I haven’t been inspired to do much. Couldn’t even pull weeds due to the ground being so hard and dry.
    Our drive needs to be replaced. Seeing your mess with the job makes me cringe.

    • It’s hard to garden in hot weather. Even more so, I found, when it is unseasonably hot late in the year. I tend to take such weather as a personal insult.

  4. I love the hori hori knife, that would be useful for us too. What an incredible amount of planting you are doing in a short time….and the Tulips and Daffodils next week! Do you replenish the soil in the garden beds? I’ll be following your progress.

    • Generally I give the “heavy feeders” and certain pampered plants – roses, clematis – a few handfuls of compost. Otherwise, I just let the leaves, plant debris and other mulch decay in place.

  5. I think I may need a knife like that. After 47 years here I am in the process of ‘if you are not thriving, you’re trash’. Even shrubs and old roses are biting the dust. That tool looks like taking out some perennials would be easier

  6. Having had a new driveway put in a few years ago I sympathize. I am impressed with the amounts of each bulb you are putting in. I am not generous enough in that regard.

  7. You’ve gotten a lot of bulb planting done! My VanEngelen order hasn’t even arrived yet. Love how you tuck all your things in together. I have lots of tiny/short tulip and daff bulbs ordered for my new rock garden.

    • I like the shorter tulips – are they species tulips? There’s a couple of varieties I really like – ‘Little Beauty’, ‘Little Gem’ – I think they are considered species tulips.

      • I have some of the ones you mention elsewhere in the garden, both little sweeties. The new purchases are “biflora” and “cretica hilde”.

  8. Congrats on the hori hori knife. I like mine a lot. Wearing it in its scabbard makes me feel like someone a little earlier, Jim Bowie.

  9. I used to have to move large plants and shrubs by myself and I used to dig them out and roll them on a tarp and then drag the tarp across the yard. You should give it a try. You’ll be surprised at how much weight you can move, and with very little lifting.

  10. I love bulb planting season… even more so when the bulbs are all planted! Your alliums should look great next spring. I’ve added a few new ones this year but haven’t ventured into the whites yet.

  11. Oh wow, you’re in for a fabulous blooming season! I only recently became confident enough to use “Solidago” so thanks for letting us know not to.

  12. Oligoneuron? My neurons are hurting already. Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and other such reliable sites still are using Solidago, I will, too. I just managed to make it through an article on “Solidago and Related Taxa, where Oligoneuron was discussed, and by the time I got halfway in I was looking for my waders. Goodness.

    On a different note, your Fiskars brought to mind my mother’s favorite sewing scissors. Those people at Fiskars do good work; you ought to enjoy your sword.

    • So it turns out some Solidagos are still Solidagos, only some have become Oligoneurons. I think my little sword needs a name, like “Sting” or “Needle”.

  13. You are right in there! I’ve transplanted 12 perennials that I’m trialing and all I can say is, good thing they came in small pots. I’m also getting some bulbs in the ground – still not sure where I’ll be placing some of them, but unfortunately a few will have to go in pots (once you read my latest post, you’ll know why). I’ll be picking your brain on how to get them through the winter 🙂

    So, do you find the hori hori a lot better than a standard trowel or just a bit better? Inquiring minds want to know!

    • The hori hori is fantastic, especially for medium to small bulbs and in hard soil. Much better than a trowel, but the trowel is still better for big bulbs like lilies.

  14. Wow! And good for you… I came back to Asheville to “hold mail” bins full of all sorts of things, including bulb catalogs, but decided that neither of my gardens needed more bulbs, as I wasn’t sure I’d be here to see them. A bit sad, really — I’d have a better chance in Asheville than in Quebec, I think! I always like to see tulips here, and we have some already in Quebec.

  15. Work seems to be progressing re the driveway, let’s hope that’s finished soon. I love the sound of all those bulbs going in, I must get around to planting some as well.xxx

  16. Solidago works for me. I have not yet met one anyway.
    Our liatris were planted as canned stock. It was not my idea. Someone else purchased them. I was surprised that they have been working as perennial so far. I do not expect them to naturalize for long though.

      • I would be concerned that goldenrod could adapt too well and become a weed like so many other invasive exotic species that are here now. Those that are rarely in nurseries are supposed to be well behaved. Our rare native goldenrod is not much to brag about. Liatris supposedly does well for us. I do not know what to think about it yet, but would like to try more, mainly because the bulbs are affordable. I would not by canned stock like we got at work though.

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