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.