I am a big, big believer in gardening on the cheap, which means I divide any perennials that will tolerate it. Which is most of them. But sometimes…well, it doesn’t work out exactly as planned. See evidence at left. Can you find the hostas?
Last summer, this was a bed of badly crowded daylilies, and not even particularly pretty ones, just your garden-variety (sorry) orange ditch lilies. But whatever. They weren’t blooming here, just taking up space, and I had some bare spots here and there, so I spent backbreaking hours digging, dividing, replanting. When I was finished, this little spot had just a handful of daylilies left next to the fence, leaving lots of lovely bare ground in which to plant the hostas I bought (and divided) at the end of the season.
I could see the hostas were in trouble by the end of May. Here’s a more recent shot, taken just a few days ago:
Granted, this is from a different angle, but trust me: The hostas aren’t any more visible when you’re looking at this bed straight-on. Which leads me to wonder: WTF? And the daylilies still didn’t bloom.
So now what? There’s no way I’m wading in and digging the rest of these suckers out; the ones I transplanted didn’t do that well, either, so the hell with that. My inclination is to just yank out the foliage, maybe on a really wet day when some of the roots will come up with the leaves, and at least give the hostas some space to breathe. As for the daylilies I planted in other parts of the yard, they have one more season to redeem themselves. So much for daylilies thriving anywhere.
Oh, and I’d just like to say: The mosquitoes this year? Brutal. I braved the raspberry patch for 10 minutes last night—I cannot let them go to waste!—and ended up with so many bites I looked like a damn leper. I took a quick shower, but the itching was so unbearable I needed a Benadryl to calm it enough for me to sleep. Worst of all, I had a bite under one eye. Nothing you can do about that.
Tonight, during a lull between tornado warnings and flood watches, I took advantage of the slightly cooler temps to weed the front garden bed, which is in a less-verdant part of the yard and has fewer places for skeeters to hide. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And now I have a mosquito bite on my eyelid. Anybody know of a mosquito repellent that will keep these things away from my face? At this point, I’m desperate enough to try just about anything. A necklace of garlic cloves? Mustard plaster? I’m all ears.