We were so thankful yesterday to be given some awesome plants from local friends. I spent the afternoon transplanting these babies in two parts of the yard -- one up against the storage shed that I had previously cleared with the scuffle hoe and the other against the wood shed that I had dumped some grass clippings on awhile back.
The grass clippings blocked the light to and killed the underlying grass, so I raked it further back up the side of the wood shed to kill the grass in that area next, which left me a clean slate with which to work.
We have an astonishing number of rocks in our soil, so it took me some time to dig each hole. I added a few cups of a mushroom compost/peat moss/vermiculite concoction that I had hand-mixed to each hole to both provide nutrients and loosen up the clay soil a bit.
These guys might look a little scraggly, but keep in mind that they had been just uprooted by their previous owner, transported, and then transplanted -- they should bounce back without any problem. I was warned to not plant comfrey anywhere I didn't want it forever, so I think this spot next to the compost bin is ideal.
I decided that using my tiller mattock (thanks, Gina, if you're reading this!) was easier than a pointed shovel for digging holes and removing the many, many rocks. The one advantage to uncovering so many rocks is that they can be used as a border for the garden beds. I realized today that I'm very glad to be taking the raised bed approach for the main garden area -- because that means NO ROCKS.
I divided the echinacea clump our friend gave us to spread things out a little bit. I still have some Jerusalem artichokes, fig tree cuttings, and flower bulbs to put in the ground, but those need to wait until spring.
Despite this week's gorgeous weather, Saturday's high is supposed to only reach 39 degrees, so I might opt to mulch these newbies with some leaves to ease their acclimation into our yard.
I can't tell you how wonderful it felt to be able to do some planting today, especially since I get to cross a few items off my seed wish list thanks to a generous friend.