A busy day in the garden

I started cleaning out some beds today.  In the back (where Spaz my terrier is digging)  I cut a large clump of Miscanthus grass down.  Then I trimmed the Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ into a tree shape by removing the lower branches that were basically laying on the ground.   Now I have more growing space underneith the canopy for some shade loving plants.   I also removed the cannas since they were past their prime, but I might put some rhizomes over here later. 

Here is the pile of debris I removed from that area.  The Miscanthus was a real nightmare to remove, but I’m glad it’s gone.  It causes a rash on my arms everytime I brush up against it.  Spaz didn’t help the situation much either.  She barked at the hedge trimmer and tried to attack it.  🙂  Then when I was digging up the rootball she came over there and started digging too.  That was actually kind of comical. 

After the mess was cleaned up I was pretty happy with the results.  Just look at all that open growing space for more plants.  🙂  I actually like the Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ pruned into a small tree shape.   The amount of real estate it was taking up was amazing.  The possibilities for this area of the garden are still being considered at the moment.  Maybe some ferns, hostas & other various shade lovers. 

I finished putting compost down in this bed this afternoon and it really looks much better now.  I’ve decided to call this the Hydrangea Bed since I have three planted here.  The ‘Limelight’, ‘Nikko Blue’ which is a mophead and the lacecap which is to the far left. 

The final task for the day was putting compost in the Pecan bed.  Doesn’t this rich brown stuff really set the plants off nicely?  I’m happy with this bed considering the shade plants took the hardest toll this summer.  Some did better than others.  I’m considering removing the boxwood from this bed (the bush to the right of the trunk) and placing one of the Forever & Ever Hydrangeas here.  Maybe it would be happier here.


25 responses to this post.

  1. Nice Work! The beds look great.

    Thanks Mike and thanks for visiting my blog today. 🙂


  2. You deserve applause! Great job on both beds. I think too the tree shaped hydrangea looks better and as you said gives you more planting space. Ferns and hostas will serve well as understory plants. Did you use that whole trailer load of compost already?!

    Thanks Beckie. It was hard work but worth it in the end. I am really happy with the Hydrangea’s new shape. I have some Ferns & Hostas that need to be moved so they will be happy here. Nope I have only used about a 1/4 of that wonderful compost so far. I have a whole lot more work to be done. 🙂


  3. Posted by fairegarden on September 12, 2008 at 7:07 am

    Hi PGL, I loved the vision of you digging out the grass with Spaz yelling at the trimmer and helping you dig, so funny! What a good helper he is. Your limelight H. is a beauty. I have my pee gee trimmed up as standards but they need a strong support since they are on a single trunk. I like the way yours looks already and that compost is beautiful. Your beds look nice and inviting to some new plants!
    Frances at Fairegarden

    I’m glad I could provide you some comic relief today Frances. 🙂 Spaz does make life interesting in the garden, but she thinks she is helping. I love the way your PeeGee trained into a standard looks. My Limelight reminds me of the Crepe Myrtle with it’s mulitiple trunks. The compost really makes the beds look great, it finishes everything off, like icing on a cake.


  4. I love plants trimmed up from the bottom contrasting colors underneath! I wonder if Persian Shield and Impatients would look good there? Also, you have only reminded me..I need to get to work!

    That’s a great idea Darla. I love the look of Persian Shield, but I am partial to burgundy foliage. I have some ferns that would be happy as understory plants to the Hydrangea too. They would get dappled light in this area. Glad I could remind you & motivate you! 🙂


  5. Everything looks so good! I love the look of freshly mulched beds.

    Thanks Cindy. I really like the finishing touch mulch adds to a garden too. 🙂


  6. I love the way the hydrangea looks now! Lots of real estate. I think if I had such a pretty boxwood growing in a difficult spot next to a tree and it was growing well, I’d surely leave it. Here is a suggestion-are you ready? You’ll love it! Extend the bed out so you can add more hydrangeas and your Forever and Ever and still keep the boxwood. Gives you much more room for planting:) Bigger is better and it looks like you have room. The compost does look heavenly.

    Thanks Tina, it does make the area look much larger doesn’t it. I am considering leaving the boxwood because it is growing in a difficult spot plus it adds a permanence to this area & winter interest as well. I love your idea & I have considered that. I also have another area in the Arbor garden where I considered moving them because it gets morning sun only. Bigger is better but I have to allow room for the truck/trailor to get out the gate on the side of the yard. The compost is heavenly, I’ve enjoyed running my fingers though it. It is so fine and rich it makes me happy. 🙂


  7. Oh, you have so much more room to garden! It looks wonderful! I’m wondering if this is a “prediction of the future” …if I will come to want the ornamental grasses out of my garden! LOL I wish I could grow hydgrangeas. I don’t have enough shade inside the cottage garden fence. The deer would feast on a hydgrangea outside the fence. I have one pitiful little hydrangea outside the fence, hidden from the deer, but they always seem to find it. It’s about time for me to give up on those and plant a deer resistant shrub/perennial in that spot. Cameron

    It’s amazing what removing that overgrown grass did for the area of the garden. Thanks Cameron! Don’t get me wrong I do love the look of ornamental grasses, but this Miscanthus had overstayed it’s welcome. The garden needed an update. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with deer in my garden, Spaz would lose her mind. lol I wonder what you could plant that would be resistant to deer that would give you the same effect as Hydrangea. Let me know what you come up with.


  8. Much hard work, but it pays off. Your beds look great!

    Thanks Nancy, that’s how I feel about it. I was pretty beat last evening but happy with the overall results.


  9. I love the hydrangea trimmed like that.
    Looks like your weather is better that ours. I am working inside again today. BooHoo!

    Thanks Balisha. I’m pretty happy with the new look of the Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ too. We are in the 80’s today with overcast skys but no rain in sight. Good day to work in the yard. Sorry about your weather, hope it lets up soon.


  10. Posted by greenwalks on September 12, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Welcome to WordPress! I hope you have fewer troubles to “bury” this way. :>

    Wow, all your hard work really paid off! It’s so nice to have another semi-blank canvas, huh? Maybe you’ll get to put some silvery things in that shady space, I always love seeing the interesting mix of foliage colors and textures that can be grown out of the bright sun.

    Have fun!
    – Karen
    Thanks Karen! I’m finding myself around okay. I do like the cleaner format of wordpress better than blogger. I’m really fond of texture & color in the garden too. Silver is a great suggestion. I like shades of burgundy & variagation as well.


  11. Your bed looks great. Is this the one in the corner, or along side the fence? I bet you love all the hydrangeas. They really do well there.

    Thanks Linda. This is the one along side the fence. I finished up the new bed today. I still have to do the cornerbed, the fountain bed, and all the front beds still. Whew….lots of work ahead. 🙂 I love the hydrangeas, these three do well. The Forever & Ever ones are looking horrible though. 😦


  12. oh my. I feel like a slug in comparison to you. I haven’t started one fall chore yet. I think I’m still in denial about what season it is getting to be… I also like your hydrangea trimmed up ~ planting space is at a premium in my garden so I can appreciate wanting to free up some.

    That’s okay Kathleen, I have so much to do and I’m trying to do some everyday so I feel somewhat productive. It’s definitely that time of year to lay mulch & move things. I love fall! Thanks, I’m happy about the extra growing space under the Hydrangea.


  13. It looks great and reminds me of all the work I was going to do in my yard this weekend but it has poured all day and is supposed to all weekend;(

    The weather isn’t always cooperative with gardening. I hope you get a chance real soon to complete the tasks you wanted to in the garden.


  14. I love the way the hydrangea looks now. And just look at all the growing space you added- what gardener wouldn’t love that?! 🙂 I vote for hostas. If I had a space like you just created that is what I’d be planting!

    Thanks Cynthia. I’m quite pleased with my new real estate for shade loving plants. That’s what I was thinking too, hostas & heuceras & maybe some ferns. 🙂


  15. Beautiful garden. I always thought that my garden look amazing, but then i look at yours and everyone else’s, and feel ashamed! You yard is absolutely amazing, I bet you feel all better having it all out of your garden bed! How much did you remove?

    Thank you Zach for the nice compliments. 🙂 I’m sure your garden is amazing too. I do feel better, I removed a very overgrown miscanthus. The rootball on that thing was about 2-3 ft across. I also removed some low hanging branches from the Hydrangea which gave it a nice tree form and some cannas that were looking ragged.


  16. Your beds look great! That compost really does set them off. Do you put down a barrier/border to prevent your grass from creeping into your beds? Or are you like me and eventually get out there and start pulling back the grass?

    Now all you need to do is teach Spaz to use a shovel and you’ll be able to cut your yard work time in half! haha!!

    Thank you Susie! It does make everything look better. No I don’t use a barrier, lol. I just keep edging around it with the weedtrimmer & pulling the strays. 🙂 I wish I could teach Spaz to be more helpful, but she does make life interesting to say the least. lol


  17. Wow you have been very busy. Everything looks nice.

    Thanks Laurie & Chris. It’s been a busy couple of days in the garden & I’m not done yet. 🙂


  18. I like how you trimmed the hydrangea, which reminds me I finally saw my neighbor and that is definitely a “hydrangea tree” in their yard, looks very much like yours does now 🙂

    Thanks Mom, I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I didn’t even think about the Tree Hydrangeas when you mentioned your neighbors flowers. Well now we know. 🙂


  19. My first comment in your new blog location…Started some tidying in our garden the other day too. Things were getting very out of hand here. The hydrangea looks good and more space for plants is always nice. Incidentally my own clean-up let other plants get a chance to grow and return before winter.

    Hi Chris! Glad to see you followed me over to my new site. This is the time of year when cleanup becomes a necessity. Sounds like your cleanup made room for the plants still at their peak. I was still busy today too. When it’s all said & done I will need two more loads of that wonderful black gold to finish up all my garden beds. I always forget how much garden I have until times like this. 🙂


  20. I know you are just itching to put plants in there. I would be. That was a hard way to get new planting areas but you will be so glad when you see how nice you new bed will look.

    I need to remove some pampas grass and make my clumps smaller but that is so hard, I avoid it until it gets really bad. That stuff cuts you.

    I think a hydranga would be nice under the tree.

    Thanks Eve. It was so great to get rid of that hideous Miscanthus that has been hogging up that area for way too long. That’s how brutal my grass was too, I have little cuts all up & down my arms. That was the last clump left in the garden. At one time I had 3 of those beasts. 🙂 Thanks for the vote of confidence Eve, I am considering it.


  21. Hi PGL, You HAVE been a busy bee. I just love the look, feel, smell and handling of new compost (or dirt)… yours is making those beds look very healthy and inviting. You are a smart lady to give them this boost right here at the end of the summer season. I’m spending some time in the mountains this weekend and ran across some limelight hydrangea (we don’t grow it where I am in FL)on a little hike… I’ll be posting photos as some point… but they are SOOOOO gorgeous. The first thing I thought when I saw your photo was that it was a crape myrtle… it is very nice the way you trimmed the lower branches. You are all set to plant all kinds of lushness under there.
    I hope you have a great weekend.
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

    Hi Meems! I know what you mean, compost has such a clean smell & running it through my fingers is wonderful. Can’t wait to see your photos from your little retreat. That’s what the Hydrangea reminds me of too, a Crepe Myrtle, pruned this way. This is going to be a great spot for some shade lovers. Have a great time on your trip.


  22. The hydrangea looks beautiful with it’s new cut!

    Thanks Lauri, I’m quite please with the results. 🙂


  23. Looks like you have been working hard. I wish it was me but here I am trapped inside waiting for Ike to pass. Have a super weekend.

    It’s the kind of work where you’re happy with the end results Kim. I hope you guys are safe & sound from Ike.


  24. isn’t that the cutest dog?

    Thanks Balisha! She is a cutie. 🙂


  25. Posted by patientgardener on September 16, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    You have been busy – how satisfying to be all neat and tidy and have more space


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