of course it was time to extend a garden bed.

I often order plants having a vague idea of maybe where I want them to go, only to have them go someplace entirely different once they arrive. Today was one of those days.

I have been walking around trying to decide where plants were going for a few days. And then sometime early this morning while I was half asleep, I figured out where everything was going. well not quite everything but a lot of things.

When we first moved to this property it was a feral garden. It really hadn’t been tended to in a few years and was dreadfully overgrown with a lot of weeds and forsythia and things that you don’t want. There was this one long planting bed in the front gardens adjacent to a large Japanese maple. This bed was mostly old garden phlox, a decrepit azalea, and some yellow flag irises I couldn’t identify. I kept the irises and I have pretty much gotten rid of all of the phlox. I kept cutting back the azalea and feeding it and now it’s the most glorious salmon/peachy color.

There is also a fabulous old fashioned leathery leaf viburnum whose blooms are short lived but have a wonderful fragrance. I’ve never been certain what the cultivar is. But I swear this viburnum is virtually indestructible. I thought it was dead when we moved here, and I cut it way back and it just keeps growing.

Over time I have added lots of things to this garden bed. One of the first things I planted was a black pussy willow. There are also two small fig trees, several hydrangea, daylilies, black-eyed Susans, sedum, Nippon/Montauk daisies and white chelone. I also added a deciduous azalea and a big beautiful blue tone leathery leaf hydrangea that gets these fragrant white blooms. I’m fairly certain it’s Blue Angel. Last year I also added a few Lenten Roses or hellebores. I had one in there already that my friend Lynn gave me.

So I had ordered these really cool mountain hydrangea (Mountain Mania) and a pair of witch hazels (Hamamelis vernalis ‘Amethyst’ and Hamamelis virginiana ‘Mohonk Red’.) I also had a mystery hydrangea I had rooted. The mystery is which hydrangea did I root? I am terrible at propagating and I had tried a bunch and one took. So it’s a mystery.

I have peony roots and lilies arriving and a deep red rhododendron (a weakness!) and a large leaf tea camellia and more bulbs. So I need a new home for some of them. Hence the need for a new planting area.

This morning at about 4 AM when I was inexplicably wide awake, I decided I would bridge the gap between at least half the length of this long planting bed with another flower bed I created at the edge of the woods. I will note that I ended up extending into the woods a couple of years ago when the Derecho winds cleared some more space for me.

The area I picked for extending is lawn. I have said before I don’t think I have a meadow in lieu of lawn in me. I don’t think it meets my garden aesthetic BUT I don’t mind the idea of further reducing my lawn area. And in this area, it’s partially dappled light because of my big red Japanese maple and a smaller Kousa dogwood volunteer. So it still is the edge of the woods.

Today I dug in the first part of this new layer. I did the whole “no dig” which is really just “less dig.” My muscles are screaming about now.

I took up a lot of the grass and at the top of this extension bed I planted a slew of daffodil bulbs, crocosima, geum, and red spider lilies. I hope they all take.

Next I added the hydrangeas and witch hazels. I think I will have to be careful with the shaping of the witch hazels.

I will also add peony roots and lily bulbs when they arrive. I am also thinking snake’s head fritillaria.

Did I mention after all of this no dog digging, I ache?

I did the initial mulch with shredded leaves and wood chips from my trees. To some it probably does not look like much, but in my mind’s eye, I can see what it will be.

I finished what I set out to do today. Just in time for the heavens to open up. We even had thunderstorms. I hope I put enough deer repellent down.

Sign me, dreaming of new plants. Next up this week? Planting 200 crocus bulbs in what’s left of the lawn.

How does your fall garden grow?

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