I am keen to finish the rain garden project. I don’t have very much left to do; perhaps 25 square feet. But, as always seems to happen, a few other responsibilities have preempted that work.
I am having a large tree removed from my garden this week. It’s about 5 feet from the house and is 18 inches in diameter; this is not a simple project. And this task is in preparation for an addition we are making to our home, a project that will commence in a month, give or take a few days. So I have had to bring the Great Azalea Migration to a conclusion, and move some other large shrubs as well.
The dark pink azaleas are settling in nicely to the pink-purple-yellow garden (I must think of a better name), and are blooming happily alongside a Miss Kim lilac. This is not one of my wiser choices in garden planning; azaleas prefer acidic soil while lilacs like alkaline. I am aiming for almost-neutral-but-slightly-acidic soil in the bed and top-dressing the lilac with lime. So far, it seems to be doing well. It’s not a brilliant plan but the azaleas had to go somewhere. Miss Kim smells heavenly.
The magenta azaleas, which are now surrounding the children’s play area, are also settling in. They have come out of their former home in awkward pieces, and I plan to prune them heavily for shape after they’ve finished blooming this spring. Right now, one piece is so heavy with bloom it is toppling over (though I don’t think it’s in danger of uprooting itself).
On Saturday, I dug up a substantial rosemary bush on the south side of the house that would have been in the way of machines that will dig the footings for the addition. The rosemary came chest-high to me and must have weighed 100 pounds, or so my back told me after I’d wrestled it out of its hole and into the wheelbarrow. It has been re-sited, temporarily, into a nursery bed in the back of the garden near the gardenia hedge. I moved lily of the valley and planted seedlings of Iris tectorum, Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’, more daffodils, Alcea rosea ‘Indian Spring’ and some violets. I am probably crazy to move the violets but I find them irresistible. At any rate, they look better than mulch, no?
There’s one more magenta azalea to be moved; an ‘Emma Hamilton’ David Austin rose, a large Lavandula angustifolia, and miscellaneous daylilies. I’ve also got a massive ‘Darcy Bussell’ David Austin rose that I really, really don’t want to move (it’s so happy where it is, and it’s taller than the rosemary!) but I’ll be more depressed if it is crushed by a Bobcat because I was too lazy to preserve it. The weather is supposed to be quite rainy this week.
Oh, garden. You are a lot of work, aren’t you?