I’m taking advantage of the cooler temperatures and cloudy skies, to translant over-crowded beds and divide some of the perennials. When hostas heaves are still rolled up tight, its easy to cut them into nice chunks. Once the leaves get larger, it becomes more difficult to avoid breaking the leaves. I don’t like to divide spring blooming plants now like hellebore, pulmonaria and brunnera, but summer-blooming plants like phlox, helenium and rudbeckias will still flower with barely a hitch in growth if they’re divided now.
If you have the room, shrub borders can provide you with a continuous supply of flowers. Witch hazel and cornus maas are much more subtle than forsythia, but I appreciate the flowers more. Lilacs, kerria, fothergilla, quince, earlier-blooming viburnum, and azaleas are blooming now. Mock orange, rhododendrons, later-blooming lilacs and viburnums, and physocarpus will start flowering next. Weigela, spirea, and potentilla are easy summer shrubs and rose-of-sharon and hydrangea will take you into late summer. Personally, I couldn’t have a garden with at least one of each of these shrubs.