Rearranging the Shrubbery

I did a lot of transplanting and planting today. Arriving via UPS was my first major exercise in Zone Denial: a 'Blue Skies' lilac. For those not in the gardening know, lilacs generally need to freeze over winter in order to bloom. It does not freeze here, ergo no lilacs. (Note to the Ceanothus crowd: they're pretty, but they are no lilacs.) However, 'Blue Skies' was bred to require either less or no chill, depending on who you're talking to. In theory it'll bloom in zone 8. I am in zone 9, but really we're in a very cold part of zone 9, and usually anything that can handle the heat of zone 8 can do just fine here.

So I ordered 'Blue Skies' from White Flower Farms, figuring that if I was going to go for zone denial I should start with a good plant (and also it was the same price as the other catalogs I will buy shrubs from). In response I got a sternly worded letter about zone denial and how this plant was clearly going to keel over dead. I ignored it, and today a lovely lilac arrived.

And here we are. I moved several salvias over to the old dianthus bed, then planted the lilac where they had been. I have to say, this is one of the best looking mail-order plants I've ever gotten. White Flower Farm always delivers, even if they can get a little scoldy.

New lilac

Also on the menu for today was moving the blueberries further apart. Two of the three have not been doing so well after some serious dog stompage, and I have the room to spread them out, so I did so. And added in more compost while I was at it.

At the bottom of the photo is the Salvia apiana that I had to move to complete this exercise. It got a little compost too, to make up for being trampled regularly. I swear, I will strangle those dogs one day, much as I love them.

Separated blueberries

I used my remaining compost to widen the strawberry bed I started working on yesterday. I really do need another sack, though, if I'm going to transplant them out of the container. But for now, the container keeps them from getting too stomped by the dogs.

Strawberry bed

And here's what gardening has been like for me:

Lots of broken glass

Broken glass

and rusty nails.

Rusty nails

Yes, I am up to date on my tetanus shots. And of course we remove this from the ground as soon as we see it: I may curse at the dogs for the damage they do, but it would kill me if one of them was injured while stomping my plants to bits.

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posted by ayse on 09/20/06