Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, February 28, 2014

End of the Month View -- Bottle Tree Bed, February 2014

What? It's the end of the month already? Oh yeah, February is such a short month. I can't believe it's here again already. I haven't done anything to the bed that I'm concentrating on for this meme (Helen Johnstone's End of the Month View, you can read her post here.) I haven't even managed to clean it up and cut back the old dead foliage from last year. It's still full of Douglas fir cones and debris from all the windstorms we've had this winter. I've been out there gardening 3 days this week, because we've finally had some nice weather, but I just haven't made it to this bed yet.

The Bottle Tree Bed at the end of February.

Well, time marches on, and the plants in the bed aren't wasting any of it. They're all showing up to play, including some that I totally forgot about in my January post, which you can read here.

Mukdenia rossii 'Karasuba'

Centaurea montana

Centaurea dealbata

Back in the fall, after I hurt my back, I enlisted Nigel's help in moving a couple of shrubs around in this bed, as well as digging and moving three rhubarb plants. It looks like we left a bit of root in the ground. At the time, I had been planning to redo the bed then, in the fall, but my back had other plans.

Tiny little rhubarb leaf

I also managed to move several pieces of this Petasites japonica out of a bed where I feared it would take over, and into a less moist and somewhat less hospitable spot near the fence in the Bottle Tree Bed. It looks like only two of those pieces survived the winter, because there are only two flowers coming up. Petasites flowers first before it produces leaves. I'm hoping it will have less of a tendency to take over in a spot that is less to its liking.

Petasites japonica flower
 Some of the shrubs in that bed are starting to leaf out as well.

Sambucus nigra 'Black Beauty'

Ribes sanguineum

And the other perennials are getting progressively bigger too.

Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'


Sheffield Pink mums

I fear I may be running out of time for moving these plants with impunity. They would much prefer to be moved before they are too far along in their seasonal development, so I'm going to have to shake a leg in March.

Especially if I want to move these peonies, which are already nosing their way above the ground.

Peony noses

And the drunken Mahonia is still there waiting for me, leaning crazily on the fence.  I think I'll probably cut it back and leave it where it is, in hopes that the lower portion will grow up straight.  But it's so lost in this obscure corner, behind all the other shrubs and perennials. I just don't know how it will react to being moved to a more prominent spot in my garden.

Drunken Mahonia

I think I'm going to have to sacrifice this lovely foliage

It looks like I have my marching orders. So much to do, so few dry, pleasant days.


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  2. Wow, everything's coming to life out there! What an exciting time in the garden! You are doing so much in your garden! Glad we've had some nice weather for it. Unfortunately, it's fallen mostly on days that I work. Oh well, spring break is just around the corner!

  3. Isn't it exciting seeing all the new growth that is popping up out of the soil. It is giving me Spring Fever!!!

  4. You could cut the mahonia back to it re shoots into a more pleasing shape? I am fascinated by the Mukdenia, I have never seen that before so will go and check it out

  5. When the peonies start to push up I really feel like Spring has arrived!

  6. I can't even pick up debris off the ground for quite q while yet, so I'm going to be a frustrated gardener as March marches along. I'll just have to watch you work by following your blog.

  7. Ready or not, it seems spring is on its way!

  8. I find Centaurea montana such a pest in my garden. I gave a piece to my mother and it's even more aggressive in her garden …sorry .

  9. Nice to see your garden coming away now that spring is upon you Alison. The one thing I enjoy about reading blogs is learning about new plants. Mukdenia is a new one on me - I've looked it up, rather nice. I must see if I can find it here.
    Onwards and upwards Alison - hope you get on top of your clear up.

  10. If you move the peonies now, do you think they'll still bloom? I also have centarea dealbata and absolutely love it. It's one of my favorites but I think they're all my favorites. Spring is much farther along for you than it is for us. 8 inches of new snow on the ground.

  11. Nice to see signs of spring. I think you need to hide the whiskey from your mahonia, though. I wouldn't try burying it.

  12. Lovely to see the plants growing and you mended Alison. I hope my garden will look much like yours in a few weeks time.


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