Tightening my gardener’s belt

This year, I’m putting my yard on an austerity program. There have been a few purchases to take care of a barren spot in the backyard, which was a weed patch inherited from the previous owners that I’ve left empty while I’ve ruminated on what to plant there, but otherwise I will mostly shop for plants among what’s already growing out back.

Here is the extent of what I’ve purchased, to the tune of about $150:

  • 2 clethra “Ruby Spice”
  • 3 New Guinea impatiens (white)
  • 3 verbena (blue)
  • 1 Japanese primrose (white) — my only purchase off list
  • 3 heuchera “Encore”
  • 3 trays of impatiens (assorted whites) — four plants for $1.39 at Christmas Tree Shop
  • 4 bags mulch
  • 1 flimsy trellis

ready and waiting for duty

rolled sod: heavier than it looks

From the yard, I have more than 30 irises I dug up in the fall, separated, and dumped in a bin with some dirt. These are the most forgiving perennials, and they survived winter above ground and are now starting to bloom in that bin, clamoring to be planted.

The excessive winter snow and spring rain have given a boost to the green perennials, like hostas, ferns, and Solomon’s seal, and I’ll dig some of those up, divide them, and move offspring around the yard to fill in.

my own shade plant thrift store

At my mother’s house, I noticed some ferns growing up happily among the stones in a wall, and I think I’ll browse my rock pile (doesn’t every gardener have one?) and distribute some rocks around transplanted ferns.

In the next few days, the weather looks perfect for outside labor. My goal is to get it all done in one sprint and then enjoy the yard. I have other projects to nurture without undertaking one of my intensive yard projects. To do all this, as well as scrub down the outdoor furniture, will have to be enough this summer.

Stay tuned, though: I’ve always wanted to plant some quick-growing fall crops, like lettuces, and there may be a late season experiment later on.

2 thoughts on “Tightening my gardener’s belt

  1. hooray for lettuces, Jane! I planted two kinds of lettuces in my first-ever attempt at a ‘kitchen garden’ and am learning as I go. For example, slugs will do a number on tasty, mild greens. Little Gems have been decimated. Bitter greens, untouched.
    Felt giddy with joy as I snipped my first salad bowlful of arugula yesterday evening.

  2. I had a garden when I was a teenager, and the lettuce crop was bountiful. I recall sitting at the table once, bringing a forkful of lettuce up to my mouth, and seeing a very cute and disgusting slug nestled in the curls of the leaves. I have not grown lettuce since.

    So, Marcia, for my late summer lettuce planting, I think I’ll lean toward arugula! I like it and, apparently from your comment, the slugs do not.

    Congrats on your first bowlful!

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