So while many may be out fighting the holiday-sale crowd, I choose a much more productive route this Thanksgiving weekend.  I worked in the garden…there is still time to get your garden-zen on, the weekend is still here.  I choose to do some much needed moving.  Fall and winter are the best times to move plants because the heat won’t wilt them and it allows plants several months to establish their roots.

 

Plants on the move

 

 

Here is what I did:

1) I raised my bed. I added  topsoil to the back half of one of my beds.  During the summer, I did half, because I didn’t want to move everything in the summer.  I added topsoil and a slow release fertilizer.  I bet you I hauled over a dozen loads of dirt to raise this bed.  I bought a bunch of topsoil in the spring that has lasted me through this whole garden season.  Buying in bulk is convenient and less expensive, BUT you have to haul it a lot unless you can have the big dump truck to put the dirt where you can store it.  I keep telling myself it is another workout….wink, wink.

 

Melissa's Dirt Pile

 

2)Hit a late perennial sale. From the end of October to now is a great time to get super-cheap perennials.  Last year I bought 40 plants for a dollar each.  All came back but one.  A pretty good track record if you ask me or if you ask anyone.  I got mine from Campbell Road Nursery–even they said it was the best record they had heard of…impressed yet? I love perennials…they give the gift of living year after year. Plus, if you are a newbie, they are a great investment of time and money.

 

Late Perennial Sale-they look ugly, don't be fooled they will come back.

 

3)Get the rest of your bulbs out.  Yep, remember my bulb extravaganza…well I still have over half left.  I read blog partner Chris’s post which helped my consider my locations.

 

Bulbs, Bulbs & More Bulbs

 

4)Stake out your locations.  A lot of my plants love full sun, but I don’t have that much full sun, so I drew each section of my yard and divided it into sun, part sun, part shade and shade.

 

This was my target garden bed--half sun and half shade...tricky!

 

5)Draft a plan. Yep, I actually made a plan.  I made a list of the things I had on one sheet of paper and then drew a sketch of my beds.  I researched the heights of the plants so I can choose the location wisely. Before I would just put my plants in the ground and ignored their height.  I figured if at least I got the sun and soil right, I could always move it later. Well, it’s later.

 

My Garden Bed Plan

 

Suit up and get to diggin’ and movin’. It is perfect weather, slightly cool with a breeze so you don’t sweat to death.  I find this time of year I can work a lot longer outside than late spring or late summer when it just gets too hot.  Plus, prevent the T-day “fat kid syndrome” by working off those mashed potatoes and gravy in the garden.

What did I move? I moved all my roses to one location into my newly formed “cut flower” bed, where I am going to grow flowers that I can cut and take inside.  I moved all my day lilies, iris, penta, aneomnia…some of my canna and ginger (they were in the front…that whole height problem).  I moved my gardenia closer to the house. Voila, a weekend full of moving and digging and a garden transformed.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, my time in my garden really allowed me time to think of all I am thankful for this season.  Just me and my dirt really offers a quiet reflection of the wonderful blessings I have.  If you were feeling a little grumpy about this holiday and the ensuing Christmas extravaganza, I recommend going out and working in your garden. It does wonders.

Happy Gardening.

melissa

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