Divide and conquer………perennials

This is the time to clean up the garden, and a great time to divide the perennials that are overcrowded. A great reference for what, how, and what NOT to do is at the Clemson University website. Peonies and poppies hate to be moved. Don’t move those unless you have to. Most ornamental grasses that do well here in Boise are warm weather grasses so wait and divide them in the spring. Roses are best transplanted in the spring, too. Remember, rhizomateous iris should be planted just at the soil line. Too deep and you will forgo the flowers.

And here is another little bit of background noise to remember when you are revising the garden plan and rethinking the design: flowers are fleeting, foliage is your friend. Or something like that. Good foliage combinations carry the entire growing season. Most flower combinations are visible for about 3-4 weeks at best.

And please, don’t do the ubiquitous red and yellow tulips and daffodils. Leave that combo for McDonald’s. Try something much closer on the color wheel, say, lipstick red, hot pink, and a brilliant orange tulips in nice clusters of 7, 9, 11 or 37.   Or, try this mistake of mine: hot pink/fuschia lily-flowering tulips under a lime green weeping Japanese maple.

AND, NEVER EVER EVER plant your bulbs in a row. NEVER. Think bouquet. Please. Think bouquet. That’s better.