Today was a perfect day for gardening! The air was crisp and dry, with a light breeze, and temperatures hovering around sixty degrees. I took advantage of these ideal conditions and did some work in the lasagna garden this morning.The picture above is the right-hand, shadier side of the bed, dominated by two large Bleeding Hearts and their messy, yellow foliage. My first goal was to move the larger one to the far left side of the garden. I had to tug and pull a bit, but the plant eventually came out of the ground with no obvious root damage. And what a root system this plant, initially planted only four months ago, has:Now I understand why I’ve always heard that Bleeding Hearts resent being moved! Hopefully this one is young enough that it will adjust to its new location well. It now resides in the far left corner of the bed, where it is welcome to expand to its heart’s (unintentional pun!) content.
Here is the left-hand side of the bed:Heuchera ‘Lime Marmalade’ thrived near the back, but I could not see its pretty lime green foliage from the house. I moved it to a spot in the front, surrounded by the deep purple and green foliage of the Ajuga. I also moved Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ to a more prominent site, still well-shaded, where the Bleeding Heart had been. Its leaves have such nice shape and coloration it seemed a shame to hide it back there behind the Turtlehead!
A Siberian Iris I’ve had for three years has never done anything beyond grow long, floppy fronds which do not make me happy. I think the right conditions for it do not exist on my property. I dug it up and threw it in the forest! (Please don’t hate me!)
Hellebore ‘Pink Frost’ has maintained its rich, deep green foliage all summer long, but could not be appreciated in the back next to the Turtlehead, so I moved it just a bit forward and to the right. In its place I put Polygonatum ‘Variegatum’ (variegated Solomon’s Seal), which should grow tall enough for the back of the bed. I also put a small division of Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ where ‘Lime Marmalade’ used to grow. ‘Palace Purple’ has proven itself a reliable bloomer, and its flower spikes will give it the height it needs to work in that spot.
Here is the left side of the lasagna garden after I finished moving things around:
You can see just a bit of the Hellebore’s foliage at the very right edge. The plant in the center, with small bright pink flowers, is Salvia ‘Greggii’, and while it is very pretty and bloomed all summer long, I fear it will not come back next year, as it is hardy only to Zone 6. Assuming that plants sold at your local nursery are hardy in your area is not always wise. Sigh. . .
I need to work more on the sunniest corner, that empty spot on the left of the picture above. It currently holds two Lupines which were doing poorly down in the rock garden. I think it would be a good spot for an Anemone ‘September Charm’ or Robustissima’. Anemones are slow to start in the spring, so by the time it grew to any size, the Lupines should be done (providing they do any better up here than they did down below!). In the height of summer, this spot is in full sun from early morning until just after noon, good light conditions, I think, for both plants.
My favorite of the Heucheras I planted last fall is ‘Paris’. I’ve been so happy with its bright, prolific blooms that I ordered a second one and planted it to the right of the Bleeding Heart.
In spite of their billing as “deer resistant”, the new Heucheras and Brunnera last year suffered from some taste testing! Hoping to avoid that this year, I sprayed all the new plants with a deer repellent.
The only spot unchanged is the far right corner of the bed, home to Lamium ‘Purple Dragon’, Lamb’s Ear, another Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’, Heuchera ‘Purple Palace’ and ‘Paris’, and Astilbe ‘Visions Red’. This is what the rest of the garden should aspire to!