Garden Clean Up, part one...

Since it is supposed to rain this weekend (finally), I figured I'd better get last season's Winter decorations cut down. I spent three hours cutting down Sedum, Coreopsis, tall Balloon Flower, Peony and grasses. I made it through about 2/3 of the areas that need tidying up. There's still a small area left in the main bed as well as bunch more Coreopsis, Sedum and Coneflower on the South side of the house. I should be able to get those done tomorrow before everything gets soaked (hopefully). The poor plants in the North bed tend to have to make due on their own. Although, I may go out and trim the old flower heads on the Hydrangea.



I also removed six Ash saplings using the dig-and-cut method suggested by someone on

[I said] Don't you find cutting the saplings just brings them back thicker later? I have one that is at the edge of one bed that I remember snipping with the pruners (just above ground) either early this year or sometime last and it now has TWO branches coming from the 1/2" (??) "stump". Darn!!!!

[garystpaul said] As far as the saplings are concerned, when I cut them a few inches below the soil line they don't for the most part return. But [if] I don't get them that way they do hang around and throw up a couple of new branches, yes (grrrr).

I hope I went far enough down... You can see the old, above the soil line cuts from earlier seasons that just sprouted new branches.

There are still another half-dozen saplings hiding out behind the Karl Foerster grass along the fence. And one old one growing smack in the middle of one of the Peonies. It was twice snipped above ground and now the "stump" has FOUR branches coming up! I have no idea how to get that one without really disturbing the Peony. I made end up letting the tree grow and leaf out this year and try to kill it with Round-Up. I love our giant Ash tree, but I do hate the it wants very badly to have babies.

The sad thing is, my poking around revealed my Ground Ivy problem is alive and well. Happily hiding below the protective layer of shredded leaves, its already winding its way between my other still dormant plants. I have Creeping Charlie in the lawn, with its pretty purple flowers, but the stuff in the garden beds has bigger leaves, can grow far beyond the suggested 2-3 inches high when it wants more light and I've never seen it flower. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it definitely looks like this picture here.

I actually don't mind the Ground Ivy, or whatever, but its the Soapwart, aka Bouncing Bet, that I am growing to hate. When we first moved into the house, I thought it was pretty nice with its little white flowers, but now its just tall and messy. It spreads like crazy via runners AND a million seeds. I was a bit excited today to see lots of little green sprouts in the South bed-- I thought they might be Euphorbia that was finally spreading, but as I looked more closely, I am pretty sure it is Bouncing Bet. Oh well. Maybe I can try to Round-Up the little sprouts while they are still the only thing above the leaf mulch.

On a happier note, I righted my first rain barrel and scoped out a location for the second one. I'll have to get the hack-saw out to get it in place and find the right combo of pavers to raise it up. I'll do that eventually. For now, the one barrel is enough. Bring on the rain!


  1. I am really impressed with how much you got done today! I thought Round-Up-style products worked best when it was really hot out?

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