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Whether you’re a novice gardener or have been gardening for years, it’s always amazing to wander around your garden at this time of year and watch your garden grow and multiply.

Follow these easy steps to grow your hostas or day lillies:

It’s best to split a hosta or day lilly in the fall after a full summer’s growth, BUT, if you have large, healthy plants that are already mature, you can do it in the spring as these plants have revealed their full season’s growth. Select one that is at least three years old or more.

  1. The next step is to take your mulch fork or shovel and shove it into the ground around the perimeter of the plant. Gently lift it up to uproot the plant until it is completely out of the ground. Both plant types can have large root balls up to 20 inches in diameter, so dig up about 12 inches away from the root of the plant.
  2. Once the plant is out of the ground, you will need to split it. Some gardeners prefer using a sharp straight blade shovel, place it at the centre of the plant and use your foot to make a quick slice through the centre of the plant, you now have two plants. If you have a good sized plant, you may be able to divide each half again for a total of four plants. As you divide just make sure that you have a good size root bulb for each plant, about a double handful.
  3. Prepare your planting holes for your new plants. Dig holes 2 to 4 times larger than the plant you are planting. If you have rich soil, amend it with slow realize fertilizer. Use a small handful and mix it well with the soil.
  4. Now, place the amended soil into the plant holes to bring the perennial crown slightly above the surrounding grade while holding the plant in place. Fill the sides of the hole with the amended soil. Pack the soil tightly to eliminate any air voids.
  5. Cover the planting area with 4 inches of mulch, and water thoroughly. If you transplant in the spring you may find your lilies may not flower until the following spring, you have to think of it as a long term investment. Day lilies can overrun your garden so it is wise to split them if this happens.

Hostas are very popular in a shady garden and can take up a lot of space if you need them to; they are known for their foliage in many different shades. You may have neighbors that want to split these with you, which is always ideal and will save you some money.

It’s a perfect thing to do this long weekend!

Nicola Bishop

bishop4086@rogers.com

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When I began growing flowers in my garden I didn’t care what I planted. Whether it was an annual, perennial, or tender perennial, all I did was pick the colour and plants that I liked and hoped for the best. Now 25 years later I have more knowledge about different plants, and it also helps working in a garden centre with a boss like Reed, who has a wealth of knowledge to teach me.

Seasonal annuals can offer your garden amazing colour and are wonderful to fill your large pots and urns for the summer, but replacing them each year in your flower beds is costly. Perennials on the other hand are planted once and will return each year bigger and bigger. Perennials traditionally require less care and some even thrive on neglect. Whether you have a sunny or shady garden there is a perennial for you.

Here is just a quick recap of each type I just mentioned:

  1. An annual grows from seed and blooms, sets seed and then dies in one season. Annuals need to be planted each summer and usually last until fall.
  2. A perennial is a flower that can live for three seasons or more, some perennials will typically need to be replaced every five years. Most perennials bloom for only a short period of time for one to three weeks each year.
  3. Bi-annuals grow vegetatively its first year, lives over the winter, and then finally blooms the second season. Once it has bloomed and set seed, it dies. Foxgloves and Holly hocks are usually bi annual.
  4. A tender perennial is a plant that will survive if you live in a climate without frost, unlike Ontario with frost and snow, where they will not survive.

When you are designing your perennial garden there are a few questions you need to answer:

  • Do you have a shady or sunny area?
  • How many hours of sun do you have each day?
  • And what time of day is there sun?

You also don’t want all your perennials to flower at the same time so look closely at the tags and see when each one blooms.  You will want to stagger them so they bloom spring, summer and into the fall. You can also fill in the gaps with annuals so that you get enough colour and nice foliage.

Here are six reliable sun perennials:

Peony, Iris, Black-Eyed Susan

Purple Corn flower, Hydrangea, and Hidcote Lavender

Shade perennials:

Hosta, Columbine, Astilbe

Bleeding hearts, Helleborous, Hardy ferns

Perennial ground covers:

Vinca, Money Wort, Wojo’s Jem

Lamium, Dead Nettle, Sweet Woodruff

There is so much to learn about perennials, and it does take years of switching things up. Don’t be afraid to move them around in the spring if you think something will work better in a different area, height or colour-wise.

Remember to prepare your ground before putting in new perennials, by adding some sea salt organic fertilizer soil, which will also help retain moisture.

Stop by East of Eliza and see our amazing range of sun and shade perennials and get valuable help with your garden.

Nicola Bishop

bishop4086@rogers.com

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