For the September Newsletter, I once again I asked Northumberland Master Gardeners to share some of the projects they have planned for their gardens this fall. Autumn is the perfect time to carry out garden renovations. What occurred during the current growing season is still fresh in your mind.
I am going to continue working on a garden that I started last spring. For quite a while I had been planning to claim part of the boulevard area running along the outside of our fence as a garden. My vision has been to to eventually have the entire length of the fence planted with a variety of perennials that would bloom from spring till fall and would be relatively easy to look after.
Last spring, I prepared two lengths of the fence which is approximately 12 feet of garden. I planted a Forsythia “Show off Starlet” as an anchor at one end. I added pink echinacea, Alchemilla mollis (Common Lady’s Mantle), 2 Lupinus ( red and blue), and two Dianthus Early Bird Frosty and Sherbet. I also transplanted a Amsonia hubrichtii (Narrowleaf Blue Star) and 2 day lilies from another garden.
I left space along the back of the garden to plant out 20 sunflower seedlings that I started in my green house. In addition, my husband claimed a one foot width along one end and planted a “Bee Turf” collection that he ordered from West Coast Seeds.
I was quite pleased with the garden over the summer. I had blooms most of the time and the sun flowers were show stoppers. I had lots of comments from passerbys. However. I noticed in August there was not much “wow” left! And since I have put the garden along the road for all to see, I would like to give it a bit more of a “wow” factor all season for next year.
So my plan is to first of all extend the garden by 2 more fence lengths so that is another 12 feet. I will do that this fall by edging the space I want, covering the sod with newpaper and or cardboard to choke out the grass, then covering the paper with good quality triple mix and mulch. I will leave this over the winter.
Next spring, I plan to divide and transplant a few of my irises that have grown too big. I also plan to add in some later blooming perennials such as Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan), some Sedum Autumn Joy, Gaillardia, and some ornamental grasses. I will continue to plant sunflowers all across the back but next year, I will interplant the seedlings with some sunflower seeds so that I have blooms over a longer period of time.
My husbands strip of “Bee Turf” will remain for another season and he is making noises about adding another swath at the end of the new garden. I must admit it was quite nice.