Going purple

The garden is starting its purple phase.

This is how part of one flower bed looks:

siberian irises and birdbath

We also have some pale blue-purple amsonia in the front that is starting to bloom. I really like the feathery foliage. It makes a nice contrast to the sturdier leaves of other plants nearby.

amsonia may 2013

These alliums (bulgaricum) are delicate, too. Wonder how many globes we’ll get this time.


Not everything is purple, of course. The hostas are busting out. We’ve got all kinds, and last fall I added some yellow/blue ones from a neighbor. I’m still amazed that the deer haven’t found them and demolished them. The plants in this first one definitely could use some dividing and sharing, and the second one isn’t far behind.

lots of hostas


Friends don’ let friends buy forsythia


I spent a bit of Saturday thinning out the wall of forsythia at the back of the yard (and this photo just shows a small part of it). The rule of thumb is take out a third (the oldest canes) each year once the bushes have turned from yellow to green. To be honest, we probably hadn’t done any of that in a few years. I hauled away several wheelbarrows of cuttings to the curb, dreaming of how maybe I could carve out enough space for a later-flowering shrub or small tree that we could see from the kitchen window or the French doors to the deck (influenced, no doubt, by the eastern redbud seedlings I’d seen at the local Master Gardeners plant sale that morning). I was seeing a difference with the pruning, and even found some daffodils that had been overtaken by forsythia (another thing to move!). But I kept thinking there has to be a better way.

So I took a break and emailed everyone I could think of, using that same headline and offering to share our bounty. Lo and behold, a half-dozen said yes, please! Must be the feeling that it’s time to do something in the garden.

In the past, I’ve given away small seedlings, figuring anything else would be challenging to dig up. But last night I tackled a big one and discovered it was pretty easy to yank out, even with a big tangle of roots. We bent the branches a bit to fit into the back of an SUV and sent it off to its new home.

Now to keep that space clear and to improve the scruffier parts of the soil until I figure out a plan.