Today I finally made it over to Amy's house to plant her tulips. Heaven knows they've gotten enough chill time to make beautiful blooms ... here's hoping they'll be rip-roaring and raring to grow! I was a bit trepidatious about what kind of freeze damage her gardens might have sustained. It was a pleasant surprise to see that at least in front, things came through fairly well. The Sweet Almond Verbena (Aloysia virginiana) took a hit and I had to yank three Encore Azaleas (those may have died over the course of the summer, though). Planting the tulips wasn't too arduous a task: I removed a few weeds and dug a nice-sized trench, placed 100 Ivory Floradale bulbs in that trench and then covered them up. I could have wished for slightly drier soil to work in ... they've gotten a fair amount of rain out that way. Dampness not withstanding, I was once again in awe of Amy's rich dark soil. Years of mulching well have resulted in something that looks more dark and delicious than a double fudge brownie.
That soil is likely responsible for how well the roses, iris and crape myrtles were doing. Unfortunately, the wild Goldenrod (Solidago) is running rampant throughout one of the streetside beds and I hope my efforts to remove as much as possible didn't just encourage more to grow. I know I left pieces of the runners despite my best intentions. I don't know if cultivated varieties of Goldenrod are less aggressive in their running tendencies and perhaps in the right environment, it's not a problem. True, the only right environment that comes to mind right now is an open field or meadow far FAR away from cultivated beds and borders. As beneficial as it may be to wildlife and as attractive as the blooms can be, I would not recommend that anyone plant it unless they can do the maintenance needed to keep it in check. Amy's beds may be one of those situations where the best solution is an herbicide, especially considering that the basal clumps of the plants suffered absolutely NO damage from the freezes.
I forgot to bring my camera along with me and I didn't think to use my iPhone camera so I have no pictures to share. The picture at the top is her tulips in bloom last year. And the picture below is of Amy with The Poodle. The story behind The Poodle, I'll save for another time. Sadly, I don't think I have any of the e-mails that were a part of The Poodle saga. It lives in my memory as a shining moment in Amy's and my history, that much I'll say now.