Friday, June 15, 2012

Weeding and transplanting, in that order

Today I had the day off and I didn't know what to do with my time. I ran errands, did the dishes and spent waaay too much time on Facebook before I decided to go out in the jungle known as my yard to transplant several young plants and weed the ever growing honeysuckle that was again encroaching into the sunny areas of the yard.

When we bought our house I made the conscious decision to buy only those plants native to my region. I don't have a green thumb, mostly because I do not have the attention span to remember to water regularly  Plants native to your region are used to the climate and rainfall and don't require the same amount of care that non-native and exotic plants need.

Fortunately, I don't have to buy plants unless I am looking for a specific species because every summer the Ecology Center gives their leftover plants to volunteers and staff. Unfortunately my backyard is almost completely shade and most of the plants up for grabs at the Ecology Center require full sun, although they do have a small number of shade-loving plants up for grabs. I hit the jackpot earlier in the week and got my hands on Rose Turtlehead (Chelone obliqua), Hairy Wood Mint (Blephilia hirsuta) and Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) and a bit of Sedge, although I do not remember the specific species.

I spent yesterday and today weeding and planting those young plants in a flower bed over run with Rose of Sharon . UGH. I HATE that plant. It is EVERYWHERE in my yard. In fact, the Rose of Sharon is almost as bad as the honeysuckle and winter creeper in my yard and is more prevalent than the grapevine that climbs across my trees and taller flowers. But I digress.

I'm not very organized with my gardening. I don't spend time pouring over plant books, or sketching my yard on paper ahead of time to figure out flower placement according to height, flower color and bloom time. Any prospective plant needs to meet only a few requirements: the plant needs to be a native, attractive to butterflies and birds, and love the shade (since I filled my sunny slots).

So here is my newly weeded and planted flower bed. I placed little flags around the new plants to remind me what not to pull at the end of the summer when the bed is again over run with weeds and I cannot remember what the newer plants look like. There is still some weeding to be done. I didn't pull all of the clover and the back half of the bed is still filled with Rose of Sharon plants. It will remain so until I can get more shade plants.

Sedge Plant

Rose Turtlehead

Hairy Wood Mint

After transplanting, I went to the back half of my yard to weed and check the progress of my growing flowers. I pulled some vagrant goldenrod, honeysuckle that refuses to die, even after the stump was sprayed with Round Up, winter creeper and grapevine. Last fall I planted several flowers that are about to bloom.

I have 2 mystery plants. I have NO idea what they are. 

 I'm fairly certain I did not plant this. It popped up this spring after I removed 2 large honey suckle bushes. It is very small. No more than 1 foot off the ground.

I planted this last fall. I don't remember what it is, as I did not place a sign with the plant.  The orange flag kept me from pulling it.

I have 2 sunflower plants growing alongside the mystery plants. I feed the birds Black Oil Sunflower seeds but I thought those seeds were sterile. Is it possible that a fertile seed escapes the fate of sterilization and a bird's beak?

I planted lots of Cardinal Flower in the back half of the yard. I can't wait to see them in bloom.

The portion of the backyard closest to the back door is in sun for most of the day and I crammed it with
Gray-headed Coneflower

Purple Coneflower

Swamp Milkweed that is about to bloom.

And Common Milkweed, that refuses to bloom after 2 years.

My itty bitty tomato has gotten a bit bigger and has a little tomato brother now.

Stay tuned for more blooming events in my backyard.


  1. Lovely look-around your gardens. I have thought of you and your tomato plant often. I am so glad it it still alive and thriving.

  2. Hi Michaele! You'll be happy to know my little tomato now has FOUR tomato friends and lots more tomato flowers. This morning I went in to the Ecology Center to work and grabbed a few more shade plants so now I can finish weeding the flower bed. Hooray! Hope you are doing well :)