Butterfly bushes and a $7 experiment

There's almost nothing better than a 50%-off sale at your favorite nursery—almost nothing except, perhaps, the look of plants acquired for a song sitting prettily in your flowerbeds.

We went back to Exotic Harvest again today, Kat and Sean and I, and we came away with more lovely haul. My front porch is currently so full of plants that I really don't have room for any more. I need to get the ones currently in pots transplanted to the back flowerbeds as soon as they're ready.Sean was kind enough to plant the gardenias for me; the front of the house looks much less bare now that the right side of the house is bracketed with tall gardenias in full bloom. The area of the front porch that, until this afternoon, held gardenias is now taken up by two enormous purple-blooming butterfly bushes. They'll help anchor the back beds, provide some height, and the blooms will match my purple irises.

So much currently depends on the digging of the back beds. Once they're dug, I can transplant most of what's sitting on my front porch. The thirty-odd baby lavender plants will edge the patio. The six spearmint plants will go in the back by the Chinese fringe flowers, where they'll be free to multiply and spread however much they please. I can take the irises out of the temporary trough in the front yard and scatter them out into clumps; and then I can take the yellow daylilies from the side of the house, divide them, and place half in the front yard (where the irises were) and half in the back.

The enormous boxwoods will need to be moved as well—that will be entertaining to say the least. Getting the butterfly bushes interred will be almost as interesting; they're incredibly large plants.

On the kitchen table are a few packets of seeds. I've got plenty of basil seeds; I'm hoping that I can get a second, much larger, crop going in the back—I have dreams of having enough to make a few batches of pesto to freeze.

There are also a few packets of wildflower seeds—read "experimentation!" Hey, it can't hurt. Call it a $7 experiment.

Other green thumb news: I'm about ready to declare the herb garden finished. I planted two bits of garlic chives and two nicely sprawling bits of winter savory. At this point I think I need a stepping stone in the middle and maybe a couple of creeping thyme plants, and I'm good to go.

It's amazing to step back and look at all of this gardening that's transpired this spring. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed—I've jumped from tending a few plants in pots to tending an entire yard's worth of herbs and flowering plants.

But sometimes, sometimes, when nobody else is looking and the plants are growing and the soil's wet from recent rain, I look around and think, I might just have a handle on all of this.

We'll see.

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