Getting a move on

I can’t think of a better way to spend a record-breaking official first day of spring than playing musical plants out in the garden. At home I move plants around usually because I didn’t put them in the right place in the first place. (Left to my own devices, I’m an incurable plunker). But here we move plants to change things up every year – as well as to get them in the right place. Plants’ sweet spots always want finessing even if you’ve given it careful thought.

The trick to playing musical plants this early in the season is to have an excellent memory – or to have taken really good notes – or to have left labels.

I always forget how difficult it is to identify perennials at this stage, as they’re just starting to emerge, or if they’re still just a gnarl of knobby crown at the surface. And it’s like an eye-test to find them under the shredded leaf mulch before stepping on them.

It’s also really important to remember, when you can identify the tiny sprigs emerging from a fist-sized crown, exactly how big the plant is likely to get. We want an intensely planted garden but we also want to make sure plants have room to grow without being sat upon by something else. I’ll freely admit to being guilty of “mis-under-estimating” in order to fit more in. Sometimes combinations work anyway and sometimes we have to move things around again next spring. But if the garden was always the same we’d get bored. Wouldn’t you?

I’m pretty excited about some of the changes in the Display Garden. Today I went from being worried that holding onto our theme of planting for the pollinators would keep the Display Garden looking too much the same, to being sure that it will look fabulously new and different this year. And we probably only moved a dozen plants around in there so far. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make a garden exciting again. The same is true at home: as soon as I transplant one thing to the right spot I get jazzed about the whole season.

Do you get a move on in the spring too? Do you move plants so the garden will look different every year or to finesse perfection?

Speaking of getting a move on, the daffodils are. I’d hate for you to miss any of the show and it’s just beginning so here’s the first official daff-cam shot.

Even though the mansion won’t be open until April 1, the grounds are open daily (year-round.) Come see for yourself.