Last summer, as I looked at my maturing fence border, I observed that the finished planting was not as pleasing in actuality as it had been in theory, and I began to make plans for revising it. (See Fence Border, Second Draft.) I was unhappy with the way that the colors in this flower bed worked with those of the neighboring blue and yellow border, and I was dissatisfied with the position of two endressii-type hardy geraniums within the border. My planned changes involved moving some plants around and adding more blue flowers. I began the revisions right away by inserting two new blue-flowered plants (a clematis and a veronica), but moving existing plants around needed to wait until spring.
I took advantage of a cool, dry day on Sunday to get this exterior redecorating task done. The job was a complicated one because one plant had to be moved from the fence border to the circular bed and three had to exchange locations within the fence border; and all of these plants had grown into large unwieldy clumps since last year. Getting all the plants from their present locations to their new ones required a carefully choreographed performance of musical plants.
I began by preparing the circular bed to receive a large clump of Geranium endressii ‘Wargrave Pink’ (in a space once occupied by a Geranium x ‘Johnson’s Blue’ that had dwindled away almost to nothing). Although I had cleaned up and weeded all my flower beds in April, I had missed a lot. With plants fully leafed out but not yet blooming, it was easy to see where wild strawberries and grasses had insinuated themselves among the Geranium x cantabrigiense plants (note the three-lobed strawberry leaves among the rounded geranium leaves in the lower right of the photo) and where Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ was encroaching on the space of other plants.
|With G. ‘Wargrave Pink’ out of the way, I could now lift the clump of lavender Tradescantia that had been growing in front of it and move it into the space vacated by ‘Wargrave Pink.’|
|Then, an unknown geranium (probably G. endressii) in a bolder shade of pink could be lifted and moved into the space previously occupied by the tradescantia.|
|Finally, the blue and white Tradescantia ‘Osprey’ was lifted and moved into the space vacated by the geranium, and a newly purchased blue Geranium x ‘Brookside’ was planted in place of T. ‘Osprey.’|
The whole process took several hours; and by the time I finished, I was worn out and my relocated plants were looking a bit bedraggled. I would have preferred to move these plants earlier in their growth cycle, but the early spring changed my plans; I could either transplant them under less than ideal conditions or wait until next year. Fortunately, these are all plants that do well in my garden – mostly volunteer seedlings or divisions of divisions. In other words, these are plants I can afford to risk losing. But I think that if I keep them well watered for the next week or so while they settle in, they’ll do just fine.
Here’s hoping that when I look at this flower bed this summer, I’ll be happier with what I see.