Happy planting!

It’s game time here at Blithewold. Even though we’ve been planting steadily since … March (!) the biggest push starts now that we’re well past frost and are desperate to get everything moved out of the greenhouse. What we call “planting week” usually spans a month or more and starts with marathon planting sessions in each garden that never take as long as we imagine it will. We were set back by rain earlier in the week but a powerful crew of volunteers adjusted their schedules to work today and along with the Florabundas yesterday they got us over the first of several humps.

A good 400 annuals and tender perennials including dahlias, salvias, ageratum, helichrysum, zinnias and agastache went in the North Garden yesterday; Dan planted at least 40 tomatoes; and almost 600 cutting garden annuals like tassel flower, amaranth, and lisianthus, and tender perennials and perennials such as lavender, butterfly weed and “Rhody Native” mountain mint went into the cutting garden, herb garden and pollinator bed today. Today’s planting session was completed just in time for a drenching downpour – a half an inch in what couldn’t have been much longer that a half an hour – that watered everything right in.

We try to make the job as easy as possible. Gail, Tricia and I place everything the day before so that no one has to wait while we make up our minds about where it all goes. And mostly the planting is easy – the soil is soft, fluffy cake mix wherever we took tulips out and wherever we evict forget-me-nots and teasel seedlings that have fulfilled their duties as space holders/weed barriers. But it’s still a big manicure-wrecking job that’s hard on the knees and the back and we couldn’t possibly have gotten even a fraction of it done in the time it took without our amazing volunteers.

The more we plant the more space we have under the arbor for hardening off plants as they come out of the greenhouse. I’ll spare you uninteresting shots of empty benches but to Gail and me they are almost as thrilling as seeing our plants go in the ground one by one by one.

Will you spend any part of this long weekend planting? I hope you have perfect weather for it and well-timed downpours – at night of course after the cookout – to help settle it all in. Happy planting!