Greyhaven Evolving

I’m really happy with how the river house, Greyhaven, has evolved in my parkway garden. I’ve added some more lapis lazuli chips to lead the Esthely River under the porch steps and along the front of the house (where the sisters like to sit and read together). Yes, it’s a little goofy to use somewhat expensive chips instead of much cheaper glass stones to make the river, but it is SO pretty, I have no regrets. 🙂

The river curves around to the bridge, where we meet bunny siblings Cicely and Parsley, passes by the Ent grove (with just one Ent right now, but perhaps more will show up), and then circles a sedum before disappearing into the Deep Woods.

(Thank you to all who submitted names for the bunnies! It was a hard choice. Diana’s younger sister needs a name, if you’d like to weigh in.)

Garden Log 5/11/21

Sometimes the garden evolves, and what seemed like a perfectly good idea just doesn’t work anymore. In this case, I planted this “Quickfire” lacecap hydrangea about a decade ago, and for many years, it was one of my favorite shrubs in the garden, with early white blooms that went a gorgeous pinky-red as summer turned to autumn.

But the crabapple that was here when we bought the place died not too long after, and so we put a redbud in, and that died almost immediately (bad winter, lots of people lost young trees), and so we put in ANOTHER redbud, “Ace of Hearts,” (spending a little more money to get and plant a bigger tree, hoping that would help it survive), and this one took nicely.

So nicely, in fact, that after about five years, it had grown enough to completely shade out the Quickfire. Now, hydrangeas are shade-tolerant, yes, but this one, at least, clearly blooms much less in shade. I noticed last year that it hardly bloomed, and the branches themselves were reaching towards the sun, so that it was getting a very lopsided shape. I could’ve just pruned for shape, but that wouldn’t fix the blooming problem.

So this spring, I had someone come and move it for me. (Everol, aka “Rasta with a Rake,” did a great job.) I do most of my own gardening, but moving a big shrub is a little beyond my current strength, alas.

Moving mature shrubs is always risky — even if you take a lot of care to get as much of the root ball as you can, they might not survive the transplant. But it’s been a week, and so far, it looks okay. Fingers crossed it makes it through. I’m making sure it doesn’t dry out, so the roots can get well established.

If you’re going to be moving shrubs in the Midwest, now is a good time, when the ground has just warmed up, or in mid-fall, so they can go dormant and rest over the winter. The second photo shows its new location — up against the fence, with lots more sun, and turned around so that it will hopefully grow a little more evenly. Fingers crossed!

Columbines Ought to Be Wild

It’s a little bit of a challenge arranging columbine for indoors — the stems are so tall and spindly. I took one long stalk, cut off the lower blooms, cut down the long stem some, and clustered them together. It still looks a little wild, rather than a neat arrangement, but columbines ought to be wild, I think, so I’m okay with it. 🙂