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scaling back this fall

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

Hi everyone,
I garden in Royal Oak. This fall I will be scaling back on my garden beds (insert frowny face here.) I just have too much to deal with and have been shrinking my beds rather than expanding them. Rather than post on Craigslist, I figured I'd start here to find new homes for my extra plants.

I have a miniature rose, Old country Charm, an alba rose (Great Maiden's blush), a few foxglove seedlings, a nice clump of red carnations, and bunches of wild geranium, cranesbill, but I don't know the variety.

Here are a few photos taken beginning of July. I know its difficult to see what's going on in this picture. The tall ones are bachelor buttons, and there are some cosmos that re-seed. The alba is in the middle of the bed, its about 4 years old. Let me know if anything you see would have a better home at your house! I am taking out this whole bed, except for (maybe) the large red rose, Home Run. (Unless someone talks me out of it...) There is also plenty of sedum groundcover, with pink blooms.

Thumbnail by museumgirl
Winnetka, CA


I would love to adopt your red carnations if you think they might travel well. I live in southern California.... were you hoping for someone local? Let me know... I'd be happy to send you postage $$ if you think they would survive the trip.

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

Not sure about shipping them, actually. I don't know how they would do, although I suppose nurseries do it all the time! :) They are not blooming right now, I just trimmed them back this afternoon hoping they will bloom again. If I don't have any takers locally, we can try it. I was hoping to wait until late August or early September-when is your good planting time?

AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

Sorry you're frowning about scaling back. I scaled way back when we moved to our retirement home. It was sad leaving all my formal beds but now it is much easier to care for what I have. I'm in transition too. I am tired of fighting the deer and plant to shovel prune my daylilies and replace them with Russian Sage and bee balm and maybe lavender and catmint............all things the deer don't like to eat. :) Every year I wait for the daylilies to bloom and the dang deer beat it in there and eat the flowers. Plus, the grass seems to hide inside the daylilies and take hold making it hard to pull out. Tired of it. I notice the deer don't eat the Sapinaria or Bouncing bet. Must taste soapy. I may spread more of that around.

Good luck. Maybe contact your local garden club.

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

It is getting easier as I scale back, I agree. Tired of fighting a lack of sunshine and drought and all the bugs! Going for hosta and ferns and things I can neglect in the back yard! Now moving on to the front in hopes of having a nice-looking curb appeal without so much constant attention. I feel a little guilty since I'm not elderly or infirm or anything, just busy and tired of struggling with plants that demand more than they give back! I want to spend more time enjoying and less fighting the environment, but at least I don't have deer! (Yet!)

Winnetka, CA

Early September is perfect for us as the heat abates by then and things cool down... transplanting can be done without any fear of stress. Let me know if you don't have any takers... maybe we can work a way to ship them. Do you have issues with bugs there in Michigan? What kinds of bugs do you battle with? You mentioned drought and it made me wonder... I grew up in N.Y state and bugs usually come with the moisture.... just curious. By the way.... I completely understand the theory of working with plants that don't give back as much as they get in time spent.... being here on the west coast I've had to incorporate a lot of the drought resistant plants and learn to appreciate them for their own talents! LOL... although I do miss the wonderful plants like lilacs and peonies that just won't grow here.... Thanks ... Nancy

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

We have had Jap Beetles the last two years, first time ever (been here 14 years). And I had a scale infestation on the euonymous, so I actually pulled them out. We get aphids early, but they haven't been a problem this year, mostly the JBs, at least this year. Everything else seems okay.
Aren't there restrictions on shipping live plants to CA?

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

Hello, neighbor! I got bit hard by the gardening bug this year and have been working on expanding my beds, even during our drought. Most of my beds are heavy shade, so I can't use much right now except for the sedum. I have a dry bed beneath one of our big oaks that could use some more cover.

I do have one sunny bed that I wanted to enlarge but hadn't planned on digging in it this year. Your plants are tempting me =) I'm a sucker for giving things a home. I would certainly be interested in rehoming them, as long as you don't find someone else who already has a space for me. Dmail me if you'd let me come take a look at them in person sometime. I would even let you see mine, as long as you don't tell everyone how many weeds I have, LOL.

Winnetka, CA

Museum girl.... I imagine there is a restriction somewhere... but thus far I haven't run across one. I order from Burpee, High Country Gardens, American Meadows, Bluestone Perennials and White Flower farm a lot and often order from ebay...never had anyone say they couldn't ship. In fact... last week I received something from Wisconsin... I think the carnations would be ok... but I do understand if you'd rather have someone local come to dig them up for you as that would surely be more efficient. Nancy

Dearborn, MI

Hey, Loon, there are lots of beautiful perennials the deer don't touch in my gardens. Butterfly weed and bush, baptisia, yarrow, agastache, salvia, heliopsis, daisies, liatris, goldenrod, perennial geranium, penstemon, and grasses to name some. And they are easy care and don't need much water. Forget those dang daylilies.

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

I guess as far as shipping, I was thinking of a friend who moved there from Illinois, and they had a hassle about whether their outdoor furniture was harboring "foreign" flora or fauna, I guess there was concern about bugs in it? So I am sure you are right, not a problem, although I will try and re-home locally, I think.

I have a daylily that needs a new home, too! Stella D'oro, probably needs dividing.

We have deer nearby, but not in our neighborhood. One year there were NINE in the nature center, which is about 1 city block-there were no hostas in anyone's yard for about a mile! I was fortunate, that is the other side of town! Our issue is rabbits and squirrels! I feel for ya'!!!

AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

Nancy, thanks for the suggestions of what the deer won't eat in your garden. They have eaten my daisies and my phlox. I bought a dozen Russian Sage and plan to make a row across the bed where the daylilies are. I'm thinking of buying more lavender and bee balm. They hate catmint it seems so I might throw some of that in as well. I can keep beautiful daylilies inside my fence so will limit the flowers to where they have more protection. I always hated dividing the things anyway. THe ones I have inside the fence don't multiply so fast so they're easy to keep. I will make it my goal this winter to think up, order or start seeds for everything the deer don't like. :)


Dearborn, MI


This Michigan company has a great list of plants the deer don't really like.

They ate your daisies? Mine are right out front across the street from the woods they call home and those they have not touched.

AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

Yes, they ate my dasies. I had tall ones and had bought a bunch of the low growing ones and they are all gone bye bye. Dang deer. I've had the best luck with things that smell like catmint. They even nibbled on my monkshood and that is highly poisonous. I hope it gave them a good belly ache. :) Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

Lexington, MI(Zone 6a)

Yes, there are restrictions on shipping to California. Go to http://nationalplantboard.org/laws/index.html and it gives the restrictions for all the states. When I've sold plants online I've always stated that I won't ship to CA. It's interesting that they have no problem shipping lots of plants to us.

I trialed some cinnamon oil spray on my hostas a couple years ago and it seemed to work well....As long as I remembered to spray after a good rain. The deer treat my garden like it was put there just for them. I'm finding that by planting some things they don't like around the hostas it slows them down a bit. Thanks for the link.

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