Gardens are living systems which can get out of balance. Certain plants need to be removed or containerized in the ground to prevent them from taking over. Shrubs need periodic pruning to clean out the dead wood and remain visually balanced with the rest of the garden. For us, this has become the year of renovating our perennial beds. Since our garden is now 14 years old, some of the beds are not as balanced visually as they were 5 years ago.
The day lilies are taking over our perennial beds, and in some cases choking out new plantings like blueberry bushes. They also don’t provide much visual interest except for the brief period in June when they produce orange flowers on 4 foot stalks. Some of the lower growing plants like the Cranesbill Geranium have become too big for their spot and need dividing. Overall, we’ve lost some of the diversity of plant life we had several years ago to attract wildlife and beneficial insects.
Our plan for renovation is two-fold. After assessing the garden, we buy new plans based on our needs. For instance, our shaded area has lots of low-growing ferns and hostas, and needs some height from shrubs. We’re also removing plants like the day lilies and dividing other plants to fill in spots. There’s also some plants growing under our hedges which need to be rescued and moved elsewhere.
For the new plants, I found a few new ones at Home Depot – delphiniums and stonecrop. However, a trip to a local gardening center, Wedgewood Gardens, provided me with a much better selection of plants to choose from, plus I was able to pick up 2 shrubs on clearance. The mountain laurel pictured above is now in the shade bed and pushing new growth already; it was on clearance for $10.
The bed behind our garage has long been a sore spot between my husband and I, and a difficult spot to deal with anyway. Since the bed has mostly poor soil, I decided to fill it with mint and day lilies. Apparently, my husband isn’t fond of the mint running rampant in the bed. I’m not too fond of the day lilies anymore. My husband cleaned out the mint in the middle of the bed and I found a weigla at Wedgewood on clearance for $20. As I work on the other beds, I’ll be moving tolerant perennials like sedum into this bed to fill it in.
I’ve slowly been cleaning the day lilies out the bed that runs along the southern side of our home. One spot is now home to delphiniums from Home Depot and plants moved back from the front of the bed. Often, moving big plants back from the front of the bed can improve the visual appearance of the bed without investing in new plants.
In this spot, I added in varsicolor iris, rudbeckia, and a silver plant which I forget the name of. Honestly, I’m bad about plant names though my husband can rattle off the Latin names on the spot.