Looking around the potting shed there are piles of to-do lists masquerading as debris, an open container of cookies, a variety of hand tools, filthy gloves, plants in various states of need, open books, unwashed mugs, torn pages from magazines and a film of dust (dirt to be perfectly honest) over everything. But we have truly not been inhabiting this room for the last few weeks (even when I sit here to write, my mind is in the garden). It’s a little shocking really to actually look around at the mess of days upon days! (I’d get up now to neaten it but my readers beckon — don’t you?!)
Out in the gardens it’s a different story. The entire grounds and garden staff (all 5 of us) along with the volunteers have spent the beginning of the week in the Display Garden getting it going for the season. The grand redesign of the area will be in progress for at least a couple of years but this week Fred and Dan have concentrated on getting the paths sodded and this year’s new beds ready for planting. We haven’t put in many super tender annuals yet (cold nights still in the forecast…) but we did unpack and plant some of the dahlias to give them a head start. This year we tried a new (to us) method of storage – dampened sawdust in cardboard boxes and so far so good! The tubers are nice and plump and we only had a little rot loss. Some of the tubers were kept in our pump house (garden shed) where the temperatures dipped to the 30′s over the winter and we kept some in the greenhouse cellar which stays fairly warm (low 60′s) all winter because of heat from the furnaces. Both batches (so far!) are fine!
Today’s group spread shredded leaves (our favorite mulch – and we never make enough!) on the Cutting Garden and peony row and they pored over the Rock Garden on an onion grass annihilation mission. Gail and I have spent the afternoons working in the North Garden – reorganizing bed by bed. Yesterday we worked in the star wall bed where I performed surgery on this tri-perennial – a Dicenthalictracallis? A bleeding day rue? A meadow heart lily? Whatever it should be called, it was a beautiful combination but we decided that space being tight where it was, it needed to be un-siamesed. Now in its place is a daylily shadow of its former self.
I can’t send this out into the world without at least one – or maybe two up the skirt shots. Dicentra exima ‘Snowdrift’ is blooming in the Rock Garden and my favorite tulip ‘Artist’ (orange and green all on one!) is opening up in the Cutting Garden.