New Month, New Plants & A New Bed

It’s the first day of my month, and almost one year since I began chronicling Coppertop gardens.

Besides the seeds that I’ll continue to sow in the greenhouse, this week I’ve begun planting a nice variety of plants directly into the garden. These plants will surely flourish in the truckload of organic compost we added to the beds this past week. You would think that with our five acres we could create enough compost, but the recent extension and addition of raised beds required additional compost. (We’ve been learning that the lower temps of the PacNorthwest make for a slower composting process, when compared to our Portugal composting success.)

Ten healthy pots of Dianthus barbatus or sweet william that I started from seed are all laid out and will have a new home this afternoon in the raised bed by the garage. As these are biennials, they probably won’t flower until next year, but their headstart in the greenhouse may promote flowers this summer; this is all a learning curve!  They join the catmint, hardy geraniums, wild strawberries and other perennials in this bed.


Last summer this same raised bed overflowed with beauty:


Now, with the “dog yard” fence removed from its middle, the bed promises to be sweeter still. Nearby, we put in three new peony tubers to extend the row of peonies to fill the area that once held part of this bed. We’re protecting this row of six peonies with cages to remind us not to step there! Around the peonies I’ve planted tulips.


These new peonies are Bowl of Beauty, Bunker Hill, and Black Beauty varieties. They’ll offer nice contrast to the pale pink peonies already established there.

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The other, older peonies along the garage are springing to life this week. I wrote about their glorious blooms here.



I decided to add the young tuber of the creamy white Duchess de Nemours peony into a brand new bed. I’ve hinted at this new bed, but haven’t yet shown its progress, so…

Near the chicken mansion lies a sunny promontory point where the previous owners kept a rabbit hutch.  Because the promontory is made up of soil, rabbit droppings, and loads of dreaded gravel, we decided to top it with a raised bed filled with compost and utilize this full-sun high spot in the gardens for more perennial beauty, and perhaps a miniature fruit tree. Here’s Hubby commencing the construction of the bed back in November.




The hens have explored the bed from its inception, scratching around and adding their brand of fertilizer.  I’ll need to put a low fence around its perimeter to establish plants. Back in December the hens held a party of sorts on the empty bed.


Last week we added the last load of compost to fill the bed, and I celebrated by digging a hole and placing the peony tuber.  I’m working on a detailed spring planting plan for the large L shape, but for now I have these lovely dark columbines to plant along one edge.



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