Oh I have grand plans for the garden, if only I can get out and do them! I’ve been digging up some weeds that are invading my tiger lilies. I let them go for a bit but they’re bulbs and have been busy dividing themselves. In the past I’ve pulled the tops but that only leaves the bulbs underground to fester and multiply so I finally got in there with a trowel and dug up those buggers. My plan for that area is to move and divide the lilies to make better ground coverage. I’m much encouraged because not only did the ones I moved last year survive and flourish, I heard a podcast by Felder Rushing saying these things are so hearty (hardy?) that you can pull them out and stick ’em in plastic shopping bags and they’ll still bloom.
Felder Rushing has a gardening radio show that broadcasts (and subsequently podcasts) out of Mississippi, so some of the advice is going to presume a milder winter, and also some of the plants or timing of planting have to be taken with a grain of salt since New Jersey is so different climate-wise, BUT he has such a wonderful no-nonsense approach to gardening. For example, when people ask how to plant something he usually will say, “green side up.” He says you can prune most plants at any time, the difference is if it’s a flowering plant you might miss the flowers this year. There are exceptions, and he also goes on to give details about planting (incliding advice to make the hole wide but not necessarily deep) or pruning (prune dead stuff, crossed branches, prune where the branch is budding and it will divide where you cut).
Thanks to him I’m considering a lot of rearranging of plants I already have. I have some periwinkle, which I love, but it’s off at the foot of the garden where no one sees it. I’ll move that up to where I can enjoy it more. I have lilies of the valley that are spreading into my lawn and soon I’ll transplant them (to heck with the lawn, it will recover, but I want more lilies under the forsythia!). I have a lot of English ivy and since I’ve had such trouble finding a green shrub that will fill in the bottom of the garden where it’s full shade, maybe I’ll build something for them to grow on.
Given how small my budget is it’s nice to have ideas for creating more plants. Ideally I will have a lot more ground cover plants so that I don’t need to lay down so much mulch. I cleaned out a lot of dead leaves under the bushes over Easter weekend and the dirt is just bare. Given how dry it’s been lately I’m concerned about things drying too fast, plus it’s a haven for weeds. Every time I do calculations on how much mulch I need I come up with INSANE quantities, so my current thinking is to plan on spending X amount of money and just asking the mulch people to deliver as much as I can get for that amount. I seriously think we could absorb 20 cubic yards easily–but I don’t love the idea of spreading 20 cubic yard of mulch! I’ve seen 20 cubic yards delivered (and distributed) at the pre-school and it’s a lot. A whole lot.