Saturday, September 12, 2020

Front yard, back yard

All summer long I have been staring at a bunch of perennials, mentally planning on where to move them. Now that autumn is (almost) here, the time seemed right to start in on that project. So that is what I have been doing this past week (once I got the go-ahead from my doctor).

In 2018 I purchased a bunch of coneflower, rudbeckia, monarda, ironweed, butterfly weed, etc. After scanning my blog, I find little mention of them. My (hazy) memory is that I stuck a lot of them in some empty raised beds with the intention of transplanting them in the future. That did not happen last year because of my hip. Now that I want to downsize the garden by eliminating most of the raised beds, they are on the move. The target area is the south side of the house, some along the privacy fence, some next to the house.

So far, I have transplanted the ironweed, the New England asters, rudbeckia, and a few coneflower. I noticed that the rudbeckia overwhelmed the coneflower in the raised beds they shared, so I limited how much of the former I moved. I will group the coneflower so they don't disappear.

Today I started digging up some of the coneflower but disturbed a bee nest which seems to be in the next bed where there is a pile of yard trimmings. They are not yellow jackets or wasps or bumble bees or ground bees. Honey bees maybe? I think one stung Clio several days ago - she yelped and ran around the yard for about five minutes, periodically stopping to examine her butt. Once it gets cold, I will have to investigate further. I don't want to destroy the nest BUT it is in an unwelcome location. Suggestions welcome.

Speaking of bees, I always find it funny to come across bees asleep on the job. Apparently, when the temps drop at night, sometimes the bees just stop what they are doing where they are doing it and sleep. There are two in this photo; one started to stir soon after.

One more interesting factoid: yellow jackets get literally hangry in the fall. Their agressive behavior is due to their food sources disappearing and they are starving. No wonder they are so crabby!

I was not sure the switch grass I transplanted from the front yard to the south side of the house had survived, but each clump is putting out seed heads, a good sign. The 'Autumn Joy' sedum, a popular yard plant in these parts, has turned pink. The sunflowers I planted are just now blooming; otherwise, there is not much to look at colorwise in the yard except for asters and zinnias.

Walking around the neighborhood, I see Rose of Sharon in several yards, late blooming hostas (which did better than the early blooming varieties), red hibiscus. My 'Luna Red' hibiscus did not survive, the Rose of Sharon bit the dust, and my hostas and hydrangea can't be seen from the deck. As I downsize the garden, I will have to make sure I can see color all season long from where I rest my weary gardener's bones.

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