Tuesday 13 November 2012

Spring planting in a bed with perennials

Tuesday 6th November
Weather: Sunny, even warm most of the day. Rain came towards the end so we had to be more careful to not finish messily.

A full day
I worked with Yannick and two other people from the symposia today. We were in the thick of another section of the Long Border. This time we were looking in particular at planting bulbs/ topping them up in a bed with mix planting like perennials. This helped demonstrate how much more work was involved compared to straight bedding. First we had to clear the site of annuals that were past their best - Nicotiana mutabilis, Browellia americana, Ammi majus. Then for perennials like Veronia crinata we cut down to approx. 40 cm to the ground, lifted & splitted some of them up to place in other areas of the same border. We also did this to Helenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer', splitting each clump of a plant in half with two forks from the side of the plant rather than the top, to minimise damage. Then we replanted these back into the bed and took the rest for nursery stock.

We cut down Artemisia lactiflora to the leaves and same with Lychnis coronaria. Any herbaceous perennials we left a certain amount of the stalks sticking out of the soil and marked them with canes so that we can easily identify them and know where they are. Any plants with obvious foliage at the base that didn't die off could be cut right back.

We reduced a tenth of the Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' by taking plants around the edges of each clump - they were also cut down to 40-50cm. Helianthus are one of the only few plants that one can do this with & tough enough to withstand this treatment - not lifting but diving straight in there with a spade or fork

We also lifted Aster thomsonii, we split them in half and replanted them back in.

Then we topped the area up with Tulipa 'China Pink' bulbs which already had them in it. Unlike the annual bedding we put these in as sporadic as possible, so that when they appear they will look less regimented and more like a drift of tulips.

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