Taking off

I freely admit that when we moved the Pollinator Garden this spring to its new location at the top of the meadow west of the vegetable garden I didn’t have high hopes for it to be a thing of beauty this year. For a couple of reasons. One, the intended location was full of nutsedge that popped back up within five minutes (a week, anyway) of rototilling. And two, we made the move late, towards the end of May, well after the perennials had begun to put on legs, and a lot of them looked wretched after being dug up. Some wilted, and a few needed to be cut back. I also didn’t have big expectations for the newly mostly-vacated bed (the “new big” bed) because I wasn’t sure we had enough new perennials and annuals to make it look full right off the bat.

I didn’t need to worry. Both gardens took off and are gorgeous; lush and bloom-tastic. We’re endlessly grateful to the volunteers for helping us stay ahead of the nutsedge in the new Pollinator Garden. And as luck (and plenty of watering from sprinklers and the sky) would have it, 99% of the plants we moved there settled in without a fuss including tap-rooted echinops and butterfly weed, famous for being resentful transplants. The garden so full of flowers and insect activity that it’s almost hard to believe it hasn’t been there all along. Aside from weeding and watering if the soil dries out (we’ve had a lot of rain lately…), we will do very little in that bed from now on. We will leave seedheads, which are already forming on some of the plants, standing for the birds to eat and hang out in over the winter, and to allow for self-sowing. Check out the plant list here.


The “new big” bed filled right in to the point of suddenly needing editing. (We didn’t move the gaura and I hauled out a cartload of its overgrowth among other things earlier this week. It’s best in small doses…) Meanwhile, our master plan for that bed is still a work in progress. This spring we decided to trial some different varieties of nepeta, agastache and perovskia, and kept the color scheme on the quiet side with chartreuses, lavenders, blues, purples, and apricots. Because the overwhelming height of the pollinator garden was one reason for moving it, we are trying to keep the plants in the “new big” bed on the shorter side from now on. So far, after a little editing of the permanent residents and self-sowers, so good. Find the plant list here.


Is your garden taking off too? Did you move anything around this spring? Have you had to edit out unwanted overgrowth?

The gardens aren’t the only thing taking off this August. It’s vacation time! I hope you’ll hear from Betsy when she returns from her time away, and I’ll see you again after a couple of weeks. Garden on!