Today was cloudy and cool --low 50s. Perfect gardening weather, especially since I needed to transplant a peony. Spring isn't really the best time, but (in the current vernacular) I just can't even when fall rolls around. By that time I'm tired of gardening, plus school has started. So, today it was. I started the morning with a stop at Farm & Fleet, to get a few bags of compost, and then dug the new hole for the peony, adding some compost and loosening up the soil.
This peony was in the far garden-- what I used to call the "birch garden", because the garden sprung up around two little birch trees Rob and I planted about 16 years ago. But only one remains, and it really needs to go as well, as it's pretty dead on the top, so it's not the best name anymore. Anyway, the peony wasn't thriving. It always comes up in the spring, but with just a few stalks, and maybe one flower. I have another peony back there that is doing just fine. Before we bought the house there was a tree there, and I've wondered if the peony that's been doing poorly was planted on top of some roots that haven't decayed yet, and it just isn't getting what it needs from the soil. It's a lovely single-petal variety, pink with a beautiful golden center that bees can get lost in. I'm hoping it will eventually recover from the move and do a bit better in this new location.
Since I wanted to disturb the plant as little as possible, I used the shovel to loosen it all around, then scooped it and a huge clump of roots and dirt up and out. Not planning very well, though, I then had to carry that shovel full of heavy peony plant all the way to the front garden. My right knee is going to swell up tomorrow --it always does when I do any digging and carrying.
I also managed to dig up a clump of crowded Strawberry Candy daylilies and separate them out into about 12 individual fans, and then I had to find places to put them all. I have another clump that will have to be moved too, but I'll save that one for another day. It's funny to think that those two clumps started out as one fan --it was the first hybrid daylily I purchased, many years ago. They do so well in this area that I now have about 15 different named varieties --I always just buy one plant, because they multiply fairly quickly, and they aren't cheap.
After that I decided it was time to fill the bird feeders and get a few photos. This clump of tulips is new this year, along with the grape hyacinths. I really like these together.
I am so pleased with how the front garden is looking this spring. Rob built these stone walls several years ago, and it's taken some time to fill in --it still needs things in spots, but the bulbs added in last fall are doing a nice job for spring.