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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/21/2020

Now that we've got the bed all built as of yesterday morning, I spent the remainder of the afternoon and evening doing some quality dirt shoveling!  

I had had two tons of dirt brought up with the use of a handy pickup truck, and I had it all dumped onto a big tarp I had laid out.  Dirt was moved a couple of five gallon buckets at a time; I found that if I filled two of them at a time it went relatively quickly.  Using the buckets also allowed me a chance to more carefully lay the dirt in rather than dumping it all out of a truck which probably would have spilled all over the place.  It was dirty and sweaty work, but after about mid afternoon all the dirt had found its new home into the flower bed.

So after a well deserved lunch break (pizza!) it was time to get to planting.  While my mother hasn't yet made the trip into town to select the plants she wants (that's planned for next weekend), we did have a whole bunch of iris that Colleen had given us years ago from her grandmother.  Iris do amazingly well and are extremely hardy, and over the years they had spread around slowly around the "upper" area where the flower bed is now (see picture).  I had carefully dug up all of the iris that were in that area and temporarily transplanted them into several flat containers (used to be ferret litter boxes, actually).  

(Iris are pretty neat plants, as it happens.  They actually root very shallowly compared to most plants, maybe an inch below the surface.  The roots are large masses rather like a carrot but heavier; several individual iris can be trace back to a single large root clump.  By breaking the clumps up judiciously you not only can space them out better but the action of the "breaking" seems to stimulate the iris into making more flowers...a nice plus.)

So it took a bit of time this afternoon and it was amazing how many iris we ended up transplanting (there was a lot more than we thought there were!) but we've got the first set of plantings done.  Since iris like the shallower soil we put them more or less where they had been before, in the upper section of the flower bed where the soil isn't as deep.  There's a small minus that we'll probably have more grass trying to come up thru there for a while but we can deal with that.

Kinda like it myself....this thing worked out better than I'd expected!

Steven in Colorado


Long shot of the flower bed with all the iris at the shallow end.
Closer shot of all the iris. Eventually of course we'll be putting other plants in there, and one presumes the iris will start spreading as well.

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