New beds, new plants and a new weapon

I couldn’t resist picking up some Passionate Blush Gaura and Japanese painted ferns at Home Depot this weekend. I also couldn’t resist snapping up a bicolor sage, Salvia coccinea, which was mismarked as Lady in Red. This particular sage has broad, somewhat fuzzy green leaves with large salmon and white-colored flowers. After doing a little reading on Salvia coccinea (Scarlet sage), I’ve discovered that it is a promiscuous seeder and more attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies than the greggii. I’m looking forward to seeing this grow wild in our flower beds.

My man and I started on the courtyard beds, digging up alongside the house and laying down stonework. The hard clay soil softened since the rain, so it was easier to till than I thought. We dug up about 6 feet of earth and framed out two beds with stone. The herb garden will have to wait since we need a better grade of soil to fill the raised bed.

Dissatisfied with my soapy water approach, the man decided to pick up a bottle of Bayer Advanced insect repellent earlier in the week. He sprayed the coleus in earnest, though I am somewhat apprehensive that we saved the little plants in time. The hosta near the back wall was nearly eaten to the ground. We may have to purchase the hose attachment version to attempt a more aggressive means of protecting the bed.

I also transferred the dianthus seedlings into 3″ pots this weekend…what a pain that was. The Burpees tray did not relinquish the seedlings easily, and it ended up a messy affair to extract all of the plants to put into 18 pots. I’m not looking forward to removing the impatiens.