And . . . it is raining lightly today, so I am hoping we will get a little melting. The ground is still frozen like a brick, but perhaps the icy mound of old snow in front of the potting bench will disappear.
And perhaps the containers outside will thaw and I can start to clean them up. In this unrelenting frigid March they have remained solid frozen blocks.
|Unretouched shot 11/3/13 - the patch of epimedium is too dinky|
Take a look:
I have two patches of two different kinds of barrenwort, or epimediums, and they both need some work.
First, the patch of epimedium 'Frohnleiten' under the dogwood is too small and circular as you can see in the first photo (unretouched) from last fall.
I am going to expand it considerably this year, bringing the area to the left to drift town the driveway and further to the right to drift along the walk, forming a large curved arc.
I did some photo manipulations to show what that might look like.
|The same photo from 11/3/13, but shopped to expand the patch of epimedium|
I thought about building a low curved stacked wall on the left side, set into the lower end of the slope, just the suggestion of a retaining element. I'm feeling a little cocky about my ability to build a wall now.
Like so, as I've photoshopped in. Maybe with a slightly larger wall.
|(Pretty cool photo work drawing in that wall and the expansion of the epimediums, huh?)|
I'll need another pallet of wallstone to do this, and that will give me some more very large ones for a few more stepping stones set in the grass by the bridge in back.
Major project! I'll need to divide an awful lot of the epimediums and buy more as well.
One concern is that when they bloom in spring, they are sulphur yellow, and the foliage has bronze tints in spring and again in fall. Not the greatest combination with hot pink dogwood flowers. The barrenwort and the dogwood bloom at the same time.
|Yellow and bronze barrenwort under a pink dogwood in May -- do they clash?|
Making the area of barrenworts under the dogwood so much larger is going to make the clash of colors worse. Bronze and yellow with hot pink. Eeeep.
|Epimedium 'Rubrum' under the maple last spring|
They need to be divided and moved around a bit to form more of a drift and less of a circle.
I have found dividing barrenworts is really difficult. They don't dig up easily at all, and they sulk for three years when you dig and replant them.
They are slow spreaders under the best conditions, and digging them up seems to slow them down even more.
Epimediums are tough plants for dry shade precisely because they have tenacious roots that are hard to dig up. That's why they survive well in difficult conditions. But that means they don't like to be moved around, and here I am planning to do exactly that in a big way.
You know, it's much easier to photoshop them into big drifts under my trees than it will be to actually dig them up and divide and move them.