Although we have made many happy landscaping discoveries this summer (Peonies, Iris, Lilacs, Snowball Bush, Rose of Sharon and more!) at our new homestead, the front landscaping around the house and deck had been completely neglected by the previous owners. With all of the other projects going on throughout the spring and early summer, I too, neglected it. BUT, the good news is- it's not too late to get your flower beds ready for next year, and it's a great time to save money by purchasing Clearance perennials at your local home and garden store!
Choosing perennial flowering plants and bushes will save money in the long run over-all, but are often 2-3 times the price of annuals up front when purchased in season. However, most species of perennials can be easily divided after their blooming cycle and planted safely in late summer even in northern climates (we're on the cusp of zones 5/6 here).
A few weeks ago I purchased Asiatic and Day Lilies, which were normally $12.98 per pot for $5.00 each on clearance. (The Asiatics had 3 stems per pot, and I was able to divide the Days into 7 individual stalks). They were still in bloom, so I let them sit on the deck til the blooms died back. Here's how:
1. Roll the pots along a hard surface pressing firmly to loosen root systems as much as possible. (These plants will most certainly be root-bound.)
2. Take a very sharp knife and carefully slice between individual stalks/stems to divide, making sure each stalk/stem has several roots attached.
3. Plant individual stalks/stems as directed on the ID card or as instructed by a reliable information source online.
4. Heavily mulch around the plants and keep them very well watered as they establish their new root systems. (If you live in a cool climate with snow/below freezing temps, use your fallen leaves in Autumn to deep mulch around your new plants to protect the new root systems through frost and snow).
I have used this method in the past to divide both purchased and established plants, and have had excellent results. You may dig up your establishes lilies, pampas grasses, etc to re-landscape areas of your homestead as well!