Archive for the ‘Weeding/Trimming’ Category

Spring Chores

The weather has been quite mild for the past week so I’ve been busy doing all the cleanup that Spring entails.  Mostly weeding, trimming back spent foliage from last fall and raking out debris. All the front beds have been prepared and are just needing a fresh layer of mulch now. 

The back beds are a work in progress, hope to get out there today and do some more cleanup.  Here’s an example of the tasks I need to complete before spring actually arrives kicking and screaming.  Hope everyone has a nice weekend in or out of the garden.  🙂

Fall Checklist Update

Chrysantheums in full glory 11/17/10

Well I’ve been working hard this past weekend completing some of the tasks I wanted to do before the end of the month.  Here’s what we (my son helped quite a bit) got done so far:

  • Transplanted a Knockout Rose from my grandmother’s garden bed to my Rose Garden out front (after trimming it back severely)
  • Cut back the other 3 Knockouts since they were really unruly.  This took 3 large yardbags! 
  • Divided the  one large Phlox ‘Robert Poore’ in this bed into 4 smaller divisions which were planted between the Roses
  • Moved a large clump of Purple Coneflowers into the raised garden bed (making 3 smaller clumps)
  • Weeded both the Rose Garden and Raised Garden beds and cut back the dead foliage on some perennials
  • Divided the Shasta Daisies in Grandma’s Garden bed into 5 smaller clumps that were spread around her bed and my New Garden bed
  • Moved some purple Beebalm from my garden into her bed as well as some double daylillies
  • Moved the Green Coneflowers into a sunnier spot behind the birdbath in the New Garden (in place of the Beebalm)
  • Moved the Hydrangea ‘White Swan’ into the Green Coneflowers former shadier spot
  • Planted some  ‘Hair’ Allium bulbs in the New Garden
  • Sowed Larkspur, Rose Campion, False Queen Anne’s Lace and Nigella seeds in the Arbor Garden Bed
  • Moved a hybrid Rose from the Knockout Rose Bed into the Raised bed

Here’s what I hope to still get done this month (if not than there’s always next spring):

  • Replace landscape timbers that have rotted on the Raised Bed out front
  • Move my compost bin that’s beside the Arbor Garden to the work area on the other side of my yard
  • Make a new bed for the Vitex Tree (yep still in the pot) 😉
  • Remove fountain pumps and store in the garage (this is a must)
  • Make one more raised veggie bed

I’ve been out in the garden…

I spent the entire day in the garden and it was wonderful!  The weather was in the lower 60’s and cloudy so it was great weather for planting, transplanting etc…Remember those overgrown daffodils from earlier this spring that Frances told me I could divide as they were emerging?  Well I finally got around to dividing them, lol.    Here’s a list of what I accomplished today in the garden and just in time since it started raining: 
  • Divided & transplanted Daffodils into new location
  • Cleaned out and moved around 2 of the birdbaths
  • Repaired some cracks on the concrete birdbath
  • Planted another Euonymous in front foundation bed
  • Weeded &  loosed mulch in  front foundation bed
  • Helped the neighbor decide where to plant his new shrubs
  • Dug up a large patch of Grape Hyacinths that I dispersed into several areas
  • Divided some other perennials like ferns & sedums to relocate to other areas

As you can see from the collage above I also took notice of all the new life emerging on some of my shrubs and perennials.  Starting at the left the deep red shoots of Peony are a welcome sight.  Astilbes are quickly emerging from the soil.  This one is ahead of the others by at least a week.  But the bottom right photo is my favorite plant in the garden for last season.  It is the Hydrangea ‘Limelight”!  I also noticed that his little sister ‘Pinky Winky’ which was planted last fall is getting some leaf buds on it as well.   Yay April! 

It looks like rain…

photos-0041so I spent the day out in the garden moving things about again.  My ‘Robert Poore’ Phlox needed dividing.  Now is the best time to do that since they have just started to emerge.  Plant grids have been placed over them so that as they grow the centers will be better supported during heavy rains and winds.   I also moved my Salvia ‘Wild Thing’  into the center of the raised bed so that it would have more room as it got bigger. Don’t know what I was thinking when I planted it near the edge of the landscape timbers.    What a nice plant it has turned out to be so far.  It is evergreen and the leaves have turned a deep maroon color over the winter.  Should of taken a picture but when I went out to tinker I forgot my camera and by the time I remembered my hands were too dirty to stop.  😉  While I was out there I did a bit of weeding  in all of the beds.  I can’t wait to rake out the leaf mulch in a couple of weeks when the threat of heavy frosts have passed.  After several days of warm weather we are getting a cold front the remainder of the week just to remind us that it is still March.   The most unpredictable month in the year.  Warm one day, cold the next.  The photo has nothing to do with anything in particular.  I just thought I would share a pretty picture of some spring blooms from my garden.  Isn’t this a happy little vignette?  To the right you can just make out the beginnings of a deep purple Hyacinth starting to open.  If you look really close you can see the tiny cabbage like starts of the Sedum Autumn Joy, as well as some Dutch Irises and Yarrow.  Well tomorrow it is calling for rain all day so I’m glad I played in the garden today.  What did you do you do in the garden today?

Perfect Weeding Weather



With a temperature of 68 degrees yesterday who wouldn’t take the opportunity to catch up on some weeding in the garden.  The winter weeds were beginning to take over so I figured I better get a handle on it before I ended up with total mutiny.   The Chickweed and Henbit are the main culprits at this time of the year along with some wild grass and a few sporatic dandelions.  The picture above is the Woodland Garden before I tackled this chore.



Unfortunately I did have to clear out the leaves to get to the weeds, but it looks ten times better than it did.  Plus I can always put the leaves back as a mulch until spring.   I need to plant more groundcovers like Sweet Woodruff to help keep these weed thugs at bay in the future.  Most of my early spring bulbs are starting to emerge so it was good to note what was coming up.  I also worked on the Arbor Garden bed yesterday too.  If the weather is nice today I will be tackling the front beds and the Rose Garden.  January in the past has been our coldest month so it’s good to get a jump on some spring tasks.

Shame on me!

I’ve neglected my garden for the last couple of days and it shows! my husband was out of town for the past three weeks and just got back Saturday night. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. These Hydrangea Forever & Ever “Red” have to be watered daily or they end up wilting and turning yellow around the edges of their leaves. As stated in a previous post, I’m not impressed with this particular variety. I prefer plants that will stand up to the heat of our summer & can withstand some drought. There are so many great plants that will endure the elements and keep on blooming. I’m not the type of gardener that will spend all my time babying one plant just to keep it alive. Not my style. Now, I’ve cut these some slack because it is there first season in the garden and I keep telling myself that they haven’t had time to fully establish themselves. I even admit that I might of planted them in an area where they might be getting too much sunlight. Some of my other failures include forgetting to clean out the birdbaths and keeping the bird feeders filled. Normally I am right on top of these little details. I took care of these three tasks last evening. Tomorrow I am making a list of the other areas of my garden that need some TLC from me. Shame on me! I need to weed the front beds, do some deadheading of the butterfly bush & knockout roses, trim back some plants that are past their prime and make a list of things that need to be divided this fall to be dispersed elsewhere or given away. In addition, I really need to think about either putting down fresh mulch or a layer of compost in all the beds. Sunday morning I went to my local home improvement stores in search of seed for some fall veggie crops & possibly some plants that could liven up the garden for the next few months. I’m not impressed with what they have to offer at the moment. First off their were no seeds to be found anywhere in two different stores. So, it looks like I will be on the hunt again tomorrow at some other locations. I did purchase a round planter & some potting mix that I intend to plant loose leaf lettuce in if I can find seed. This week will be all about preparing for autumn that is sneaking up on us pretty quickly. Soon my son will be back to school, the leaves will be falling, and another growing season will be coming to an end. This summer is just flying on by.

The Benefits of Mulch

I have been a big supporter of mulch for the past 20 years. It has many benefits to the garden. Mulch acts as a weed control for the garden, it helps retain moisture in the soil, adds another source of organic material that will decompose in the garden and last but not least it completes the picture. Let’s face it, a garden that is mulched looks pretty and finished. When I was growing up I noticed my grandmother didn’t use mulch in her flower beds or vegetable gardens. I asked her about this years later and she said it kept things from reseeding in the garden. She grows mostly annuals every year and relies on the reseeding to help keep her flower beds thriving with volunteer plants. Now I have to admit she is right about it eliminating the reseeding. But there are a numerous amount of plants and weeds if you let them reseed freely in the garden they would take over the garden completely. So cutting down on the reseeding isn’t a con to mulching in my book. Normally I get my mulch from the city recycling facility. They collect leaves and other garden debris every year from the curb and turn this into mulch and compost which they turn around and sell back to the public for a fair price. I have found over the years that they have the best mulch and compost that money can buy. And believe me I have tried other sources such as companies that deliver as well as the stuff you can buy in bags at your local garden centers. Unfortunately if that stuff hasn’t had time to really age and decompose properly you end up with tons of weed seeds and large chunks of bark that I don’t find appealing in the landscape. The only drawback to getting the stuff I want from the city is that you have to pick it up yourself and unload it yourself which isn’t always an option. This year to save ourselves some work we ordered 2 cubic yards of mulch from a local company that also delivers. It was decent looking but two weeks later I noticed numerous weeds had sprouted in my garden beds. We decided this year that we will invest in a trailer that we can take to the city to pickup the mulch/or compost. This way I can park the trailer in the backyard and unload into a wheelbarrow what I intend to put down at the moment. Therefore I can take my time mulching or putting compost in all the beds instead of racing to get it done. Because if you put the pile in the grass, the grass dies and if you put it in the driveway it leaves a brown stain on the concrete. So the trailer will eliminate both of these problems. But today I will be mulching my new bed with bags of mulch I purchased from our local garden center. So in the 1st picture you will see the bed partially done and in the second picture the mulching is completed. What a difference! Also I replaced the trellis I had mounted on the shed (it was plastic and falling apart) with a new wooden one that compliments the hanging planters. I also mounted my TV antennae turned trellis on to rebar stakes driven into the ground and planted some Blackeye Susan vine seeds around the base. Hopefully they should germinate in 7-10 days and grow quickly. All in all it was a productive day in the garden.

Even the richest soil, if left uncultivated will produce the rankest weeds. ~Leonardo da Vinci