When the Cat’s Away….

June 5, 2009


Mama will shop.  For plants.  OOOPS!  Did I say that?  Well, yes, I did.  And yes, I DID shop for plants.  I cannot resist a good value and am a patient woman who will start with very small plants and let them grow.  It really doesn’t take that long…3 years and you’ve got a lovely shrub! 

Today it’s raining in Pennsylvania.  The Big Guy went fishing in New York State for the day.  That is instead of the weeding/cleaning off of the sloping hill he would not permit me to purchase plants for in the fall.  It is trying to reforest.  First weeds, then shrubs, then trees.  All of them of the not so good for civilized back yards variety.  I went back there to assess the work…which he has promised will be done by Thursday evening June 11 so he will be ok’d to go on his weekend fishing trip to Lake Placid/Ausable River.   It’s getting worse by the day due to the rain we’ve been having.  Tomorrow is to be sunny.  I will be back there planting lavender, agastache and perovskia seedlings in the wall bed.  I am organizing an early morning work party.  The Big Guy and the minions.  (I mean the grands…)  They will be weeding fools. 

Did I mention?  The trip weekend is the weekend of our anniversary and he has missed our anniversary for this trip every year for the past 3years?  Some wives would simply put their foot down…but I’m very understanding.  The only better anniversary gift than him going away for the weekend so I can eat cereal for dinner would be if kids and grands likewise went away for the weekend so it would be silent at home.  Blessedly silent.  Well.  Enough daydreaming.   The reality is this.  The price tag for his trip is that I get to order plants till the yard is finished.  If it were his decision alone we’d have concrete.  Or a putting green. 

Back to the topic since I’ve wandered a bit.  In the Fall this bed will need to be planted.  I’ve got a privacy row of Arborvitae and Eastern Red Cedar, a bit of Holly along the back.  There’s a Ninebark Diabolo fronting it at one end.  At the extreme end but pulled forward will go a Serviceberry….think that’ll wait till Fall now.  At the opposite end I’m thinking Dogwood.  Fronting the arborvitaes I have planned shrubs.  I wandered on over to Wayside this morning to score another Bullseye Kalmia and just casually checked out the viburnums.  Twinterthurhere I found web specials on Brandywine and Winterthur.  Are you familiar with them?  Winterthur is the pollinator for Brandywine and Blue Muffin…among other viburnums.  Viburnums don’t neeeed pollinators per se.  They’ll all bloom and set berries but the crop is better with a pollinator.  And I know of no better than Winterthur.  And it’s really pretty 3 seasons…with luscious and plentiful berries for the birds.  Here’s a shot straight from Wayside’s site which, if you click on it, will show you the amazing sale price too!     Now yes, at that price they are in 4 inch pots and you must protect and nurture them a bit the first year until they are established but it is well worth it.  I ordered 3.  I think I will alternate a Winterthur with a Brandywine right on down the hedgerow.   If there had been a web special on native hollies some of those would have gone in the cart too.   A couple years from now my Blue Muffins in the front should be loaded with berries instead of just having a few.  Mostly the catbirds like them, but I’m counting on attracting Waxwings as my crabapple tree did one year.  Anyhoo…the viburnums will go in now…late spring/early summer…and I’ll baby them along so they don’t die of full Southern exposure or dog trampling. 

For the purpose of making a big visual statement for those who don’t know the variety, I have saved Brandywine  for last.brandywine  This would be Brandywine….from Wayside’s site.  I ordered 3 of these too…after all, there was a price break.  Again, loads of seasonal interest for people because it gets colorful red leaves in Fall, blossoms in Spring and berries of pink and blue…profuse berries…in late summer that hang on unless the birds strip them clean.  I think every garden benefits from viburnums and there are several others I would like to add.  Autumn Jazz, Chicago Luster, Cardinal Candy to name a few.   These additions will need to wait until the wall and pondless waterfall go in. 

On the rest of the hill will be perennials and a few small shrubs.  Some beautyberry, a perennial garden that caters to the birds, the butterflies and the people.   I think a wrought iron planter from Kinsman Gardens on my landing and a couple on the hot tub pad.  But I didn’t order any of that sweet stuff today.  I’m saving that for another day that the cat’s away.   Remember.  After fishing season comes hunting season.  And the birds and butterflies in my neighborhood are thankful for them both!



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