Generally this is a blog about making quilts from old clothes, but I promised a follow up to Plant Rescue, and here it is.

Recap:  plants in my city neighbors’ yard were headed for the dumpster per a complete house & yard renovation.  I asked to rescue them.  Permission granted, plant rescue began.

Several agreeably sunny days found me hauling plant after plant out of the yard as well as digging out some of my own underperforming shrubs.  It began to look like a garden center out there:

Spirea, viburnum, Rose of Sharon, rose, Skimmia, Andromeda, and more.

The problem was I did not have room for all.  Then I remembered my NJ neighbors (not the foreclosure neighbors) recently asked for gardening advice.  Actually, they asked me last year and at the time I offered to divide some of my overgrown perennials, but never did.  This opportunity seems to be a perfect match for them.

My very enthusiastic neighbor, I’ll call him Fred, drove to my house bright and early one Saturday. We loaded up his truck and headed for the NJ hills

The big stuff went in Fred's truck. The small stuff went in my sedan's trunk.

with the swag.  While Fred began digging I scooted off to a nearby garden center for enriched potting soil to juice up the dirt.  Fred’s yard had a handful of scattered bulbs, flowers and perennials  from the previous owner.   He and his wife, Dana, were immaculate caretakers of their house and yard, but had done little gardening or landscaping.

The front entry seemed a natural place to start:

What you can't see are the two maniacally barking dogs on the other side of the window.

How I wish my yard got the full sun this spot does all day.  Here the rescued Rose of Sharon and peony, along with hosta and hyacinth from elsewhere in this yard, found a home.  In the intervening week, Fred added a little decor, and now it looks like this:

The peony (in front) will bush out and bloom in a month or so, and the now-spindly Rose of Sharon (at rear) should leaf out and provide August flowers.

Next up viburnum, which can grow to 8 feet.  This corner offers ample room:

Click to see the hosta buds in shadow next to the hyacinth. The hosta was big, and needed to move for the shrub to have room to grow.

Division produced several pieces of hosta

Fred didn't have a saw, so dividing was accomplished by jumping up and down on a flat shovel.

and the viburnum took its place.  Fred, who is loving this BTW, dressed it up with mulch:

By now we were tired and anxious to finish by the time Dana got home.  The remaining big shrubs had to go in; the rest could wait a week. Along another street-facing wall went a spirea, skimmia, and a sand cherry that had been failing to thrive in my NYC backyard for more than 10 years.

Fred plans to replace the grass with mulch around these, and the bed can be filled in with annuals or perennials whenever they are ready.

I have high hopes for the spirea.  These wonderful plants develop a gorgeously sprawling habit when they’re happy.  I have one in my NJ yard that looks like this years after its transfer from NYC:

Is this becoming a long story by now?  Let me finish.  The following weekend, these before-and-afters happened:

Unadorned deck, formerly the housing for a hot tub.

From left, Manhattan euonymous , skimmia, and rose. The euonymous and rose will climb.

This part of the yard is fenced in for the dogs, but I'm hoping the combination of full sun, new enriched dirt, and the offsetting railroad ties will minimize the dog effect.

Spirea, skimmia and iris are in from the Plant Rescue, the rest, black-eyed Susan, lamb's ears and creeping geranium, were divided out from my NJ yard.

That was then.

This past week was focused on the tedious and visually uninteresting task of cutting enough triangles for that queen-sized quilt I claim to be making:

I could do the math but don't really want to know how many triangles are here.

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