Planning time – a rookery?

In response to me describing attempting to grow daylilies from seed and growing sedum from cuttings, I once had someone tell me I had “a rookery going on”. I wasn’t quite sure about a rookery. I thought that was for birds. I thought they meant nursery. I just smiled. Looking it up, I saw it also meant crowded, not so nice housing areas. Well, la-ti-dah! But you know how it is – things come back to mind and bring a smile. That comment comes back to mind this morning, as I am fondly, now that I have the freedom to do it, considering a nursery garden. But where?

Here’s the idea.

In the summer next year, if I have the energy – lol – start the build out of a hedge on the side of the house. Sedum rootings at first. Make maybe a 4′ x 5′ strip, plant 3 or so sedum cuttings, and see what happens. I know it is risky, that is on the apple tree side, the “deer highway” part of the lot, but it could work, maybe. If the deer leave them alone, I could add some pollinator created daylily seedlings from the 2021 starts that need to be moved, and maybe some coneflowers, which are supposed to be deer resistant.

Worth a try …

My own little “rookery”.

Next

With the initial year’s build out of the little house gardens wrapped up, thoughts turn to fall monitoring and clean up. The new gardens now just need continual weeding as the mulch bed settles in.

There were no gardens at the little house when we bought it, only grass and trees. Year 1 (last fall), while we were doing the reno on the inside, my husband put 5 daylilies in a front grassy area by the sidewalk. That’s where I began the build out this spring, using sedum transplants from an overgrown area in the townhouse gardens. Here’s what that front area looks like now.

It looks like all five daylilies survived, and the three sedum divisions are doing well. I can’t do much more there until we decide on next step home improvements – front porch, siding …

Putting mulch in all the garden areas somehow stopped the deer from munching. I don’t understand that, but my latest theory is that the deer might not care for the smell. I’m just thankful. As long as that continues to work I will stay that course.

I had considered hiring for the landscape build out, but I kept running into roadblocks. I’m happy now that happened. I am enjoying a new process I hadn’t even considered before – the lasagne style build out. Cardboard right on top of the grass, plants in soil, cover with 3-4″ mulch. The transplants, rootings, and cuttings all seem to be doing well with that method. I make sure to give them a good initial watering, and then follow up with watering as needed.

Yesterday’s post showed the completion of the garage to shed area build out for the year. There is a tree that needs to come out yet, and then the rest of the shed side can be finished next year.

As is my nature in projects, I do a test, observe results, and build in layers. That’s what happened on a larger scale in the back gardens. It went from all grass, to a 4′ x 5′ area on the shed side, to a 2′ addition on that side, to a 4′ x 8′ start on the garage side, then hopped the sidewalk to the back of the house where I put in 3 weigelia rootings, and then back to the garage side where I finished up yesterday. Here’s a few pics of the progression.

In the little house gardens, I decided to use grass paths. That will be way less maintenance, and we can just do one mower pass through there. Plus, call me daring, but the lawn at the little house is old, and full of up north flowering weedy things I actually like, so a bit of that along the path is something I liked the look of this year. Reminds me of the wildflower nature areas along the shore, in miniature.

Next year’s plans are to start a garden at the back of the yard and move the alpine currant and the weigelia rootings there. That will free up the current weigelia garden area. If I then make a parallel garden up by the house along the second long downspout, those two garden areas would flank the area where we sit out. I envision hosta and daylily tiered hedges there. I love that combo, and there is just enough, but not too much sun there to nurture both. The mulch should also help.

There is also a thought floating around in my brain to start a sedum hedge on the side of the house, but that might have to be a “slow to go” project. I am no spring chicken, and a couple advil were needed after yesterday’s build out work.

All this depends on the deer continuing to leave the mulched gardens alone. They do seem to be eating the apples from the apple trees, and that’s great. Less for me to clean up.

So at the little house, year 2, initial build out, there is now monitoring left this fall, and at some point, daylily and hosta greens cutback. I plan to leave the sedum standing until spring, as a test, to see if the birds and bunnies enjoy that winter snack.

7 bags of mulch later

The weather up north is getting chilly. Fall is here. The window for transplanting is not very far out.

Before (Sandy, our dog, was supervising)

After

The additions were four Blue Mouse Ears hosta divisions (left front), one large Praying Hands hosta (center), a lot of cardboard underlayment, and seven bags of mulch.

The garden build out up north is for all purposes now done for the year, as well as prepped to receive 2022 daylily seedlings (pollinator creations) and sedum cuttings (propagation) next year. I may bring up a few more daylilies, a sedum or two, and another clump of Blue Mouse Ears to divide over the right side of the Praying Hands hosta yet this fall, but I’m happy as is if I don’t.

My husband is not keen on transplanting the clematis, so those are still at the townhouse. We’ll see if they make the shift.

The alpine currant is still by the shed. It’s a bit too late to move it now, so next spring that will move to the back of the yard.

The weigelia rootings are doing awesome! If they survive the winter, they may also get moved to the back of the yard. I’m now dreaming of daylilies and hostas along both long gutter extensions.

I honestly never thought the gardens would be this far, but I am very pleased the foundations are now in place to build on.

Rest well, new gardens.

Fall decorating – Sedum style

The Autumn Joy sedum are exceeding expectations at the little house up north, and to my amazement, the deer are leaving them alone. I’m more seriously considering a sedum hedge now. In my mind I can see it along a mostly sunny side of the house, where bees on the sedum would not affect much. I could do a test run with sedum rootings alternating with irises. Deer do not like irises, so that could be a deterrent.

Pondering.

A Dog’s Delight

Our little dog Sandy, is 11 years old. For the almost 10 of those years we have had him, he did not have any interest in seeing what was outside a vehicle window while the vehicle was in motion. But he is getting to be quite adventurous. Lately he’s been testing the idea. He likes 20-30 miles per hour. Perfect for days when he accompanies us on our trips getting “lost” on this trail and that. He prefers if we keep one hand still on him while he gives his photo ops.

South Seas seeds 2021

4 years ago I harvested some pollinator created seeds from our 1 South Seas daylily. We have a very healthy set of green leaves from that harvest. No blooms yet. But I am patient. Maybe it needs a change of venue. Maybe it is waiting for me to retire. It’s a mystery.

This year we got one pod, with five seeds from the South Seas daylily.

I think those seeds, if they germinate, will have to do their plant production up in the little house garden, to the right of their 10 friends – pollinator creations from the Purple D’Oro daylilies.

But that is for next year. Sleep well, seeds.

What will we get – 2,3,4 years from now?

I do not plan any daylily crosses (yet). I let the pollinators do their thing, harvest the seeds, store them in envelopes, plant those after stratification, see what germinates, plant those in different sections of the garden, and wait. I am in year four, waiting. No blooms yet. But I am patient.

So far this year I have 32 seeds from what the pollinators accomplished on the Just Plum Happy daylilies, with about half the pods harvested. There are also pods on other daylilies – the South Seas, the Marque Moon, and the Hush Little Baby.

I collect them separately, store them in envelopes, and label the source, but no telling what we’ll get. Just for fun, for now. Maybe in future years at the little house with the big yard up north I will try my hand at crosses.

Bears and berries

At the little house we are retiring to up north, we have a bear that has been seen walking through the woods behind our neighborhood.

Over 15 years ago my Dad gave me an alpine currant bush. It got too big for my gardening area close to the house, and we needed a shrub for the garden between the garages, so I transplanted it. It did fabulously. The birds absolutely loved it. We loved it there. And we don’t have bears there, that we know of, pretty sure. Coyotes yes, but not bears.

Recently the alpine currant was removed as part of an association-wide initiative. All the shrubs between the garages were pulled and replaced with asphalt. I was bummed, but it was getting woody. It was probably going to need replacement within a few years anyway. As an experiment, I took some alpine currant rootings, and I planted them up north. They are doing really well.

Bears like berries. The alpine currant produces berries in abundance. Not thinking about bears, I planted the alpine currant pretty close to the house. Oops! It might be time to move the alpine currant.

If I put it at the back of the yard that could work. Dare I start another garden area out there?