Went to my favorite greenhouse the other day over my lunch hour, intending to spend, oh, twenty bucks or so on a few perennials. Sixty-some dollars later, I was walking to my car with this flat. I should’ve snapped it while it had the phlox and echinacea in there, too.
Phlox seemed like a good choice for the rock garden that isn’t supposed to be a rock garden. Five minutes into digging, though, I was cursing yet again the landscapers who failed to remove the volcanic rock when they took out all the old shrubs in this spot. Digging three holes for plants in 4-inch pots took me—my hand to God—half an hour.
Let me know if you need some volcanic rock.
Planting the echinacea was a happier event, although it involved no less digging. I had one good-sized plant, for which I paid six bucks. But upon closer inspection, it looked emininently dividable. Bonus! I eased it out of its pot, then carefully sliced down through the woody roots with one of my favorite gardening tools, an old kitchen knife, and got three plants for the price of one.
This knife is nothing special. In fact, it’s a crapppy one with a plastic handle, probably purchased when I was stocking my first kitchen at Goodwill and the Salvation Army. It had been been useless as a kitchen knife for years, but repurposing it as a garden tool was a brilliant idea, if I do say so myself. I use it for weeding, cleaning out sidewalk and driveway cracks, slicing through woody weed roots, dividing plants, and myriad other tasks. Dig through your kitchen drawers for knives you don’t use anymore. Once you have one in your arsenal, you’ll wonder how you ever gardened without it.
So today, on with the rest of it: coreopsis, forget-me-nots, soapwort, campanula, parsley and a beeyootiful yellow coneflower I can’t wait to see in bloom.