Replanting Our Yard – Part 2

Since planting our first batch of 100 perennials on May 1, followed by a second batch a few days later, we’ve been to the nursery at least twice more, bringing the total number of new perennials in the yard to about 250. The new plantings are doing remarkably well considering the adverse weather events that we’ve experienced this month:

  • May 5 – snow storm with 10 cm (4 in) of accumulated snow fall;
  • Eight days (so far) with rain, including a few days where it rained hard enough that dirt was washing out of our flower beds to places we didn’t want it going;
  • May 22 – 20 minute hail storm that shredded some of the Allium, tulip and day lily leaves; and
  • A couple of nights with temperatures so close to freezing that a frost warning was in effect.
Last batch of perennials
This is the last batch of perennials we’ll be purchasing this spring, bringing the total to right around 250 new perennials, including 5 small evergreens.

Amazingly, we’ve only lost 2 plants through all that, and there’s a chance that one of them may still recover. The lupine that one of the neighbourhood jackrabbits ate the afternoon it was planted has since grown back! And a few plants are either in bloom or ready to bloom. The new apple trees, new cherry tree and 20-year old crab apple tree are also blooming, with only slight damage due to the hail earlier this week. Unfortunately, with a dozen pallets of roofing shingles lining our front drive, there won’t be any peak-flower photos of the crab apple taken this year.

Dwarf Fleeceflower
The Dwarf Fleeceflower plants in the “meadow” area are blooming nicely. We’ve seen several types of bees and wasps in the yard, taking advantage of the blossoms.
Arizona sun blanketflower
The Arizona sun blanketflowers seem to be about ready to bloom. They’re much closer to the ground than I expected they would be.
Flower seeds
Purchasing 250 perennials adds up to a pretty hefty amount, so we also picked up a few packets of seeds (mostly wildflower), to fill out the “meadow” area in the backyard that we’re hoping will attract lots of bees, birds and butterflies.

This afternoon I planted four packets of flower seeds, to fill in a couple of somewhat empty areas in the “meadow”. At this point, the planting is complete and it’s time to move into the maintenance and tending stage. I can already tell we’re going to have an ongoing battle with volunteer grass in the meadow and although it will be tedious to pull it out by hand I prefer this approach over using something like Round-Up. We also have one new tree that didn’t make it through the winter, so our landscaper will be coming to replace it some time in the next few weeks.

It will be interesting to see just how many bees, birds and butterflies come to visit as the meadow area becomes established. And there are probably a few areas where we overplanted and will have to move things around. But I’m excited to watch how things shape up over this growing season and next.

Now, it’s time to turn my attention to the vegetable garden!

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