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I've spent the past 2 days overhauling 3 beds in my yard.
This is the 1st one. This was previously a a huge patch of Siberian iris and a compost bin. It was taking up valuable sunny real estate in the few parts of my yard that get full sun. transplanted the iris a few weeks ago in their temporary home. There was an existing forsythia, Lady Banks Lutea rose, a sad weigela and some mysterious shrinking violets. I pulled the weigela out b/c it was getting dwarfed by the forsythia. Starting from right to left there is Callicarpa early amethyst, Forsythia, Birds nest spruce, Weigela "French Lace", a little heath I hijacked from another bed, a korean lilac, a gold fern chamaecyparis in the far corner, and the Lady banks on the corner of the building.
This is the 2nd bed I tore up. This one had 2 huge peony clumps, a spiraea, casablanca & star gazers lillies. The peonies had pathetic blooms this year. I think its b/c this only gets a few hours of morning sun, so they got moved to bed # 1. I did find after digging them up a few of them also have the dreaded armillaria root rot I have been dealing with. I am SO NOT HAPPY about this. I also pulled out the spiraea b/c I have another cultivar I would much rather look out from my basement window, but now Im not sure if I can put any more woody plants there b.c of that fungus. Only time will tell.
This is just a spot on the side of the driveway that didn't get much love. Everything here grows really slow b/c the soil is crap and is hard to water on a slope. I should have amended it before I planted all these little beauties, maybe next year.
Now this last shot isn't as visually exciting as the last one, but its really a personal accomplishment. This corner was covered in the awful english ivy and it was making its way up the doug fir. But It feels good to be done with it. It's going to the burn pile next week. I have 50 tulips, 30 allium and 4 bearded iris I will be putting here in the next few days.
I, too, am tackeling an overgrowth of ivy, but this will take longer than a day or two. It is well over 15 years old and some of the "trunks" are in excess of 2 inches in diameter. My loppers can't even handle that. I work on the bed for an hour or so, it also has some rogue blackberries in it, and then get too tired to continue. It is my one main fall objective and I WILL persevere. I have hosta and hardy fuchsias that have been waiting for that bed all summer already and even longer.
I should have mentioned I had a helper. A friend of mine I used to work with came by and helped do about half the work. She doesn't mind since she lives in an apt and has no garden to tend anymore. I concur on the beer, its definitely beer thirty.
I started heavily irrigating the ivy about 3 day before, at least I though I was. On day 3 when I started pulling it just kept snapping off. So I turned the sprinkler in low for almost 2 hours, let it soak for another hour and tried again. It came out sooooo much easier then. I also used a pitch fork in the ground to loosen up the roots before I started yanking and that made many of them pull right out. I know some of it will be back, but we removed 95% of the root mats. Slow and steady wins the race!
The Birds nest spruce will only be here temporarily, I just needed something evergreen in there to loo at this winter. I *hope* to keep growing my dwarf cryptomeria collection with 1-2 in this bed eventually. I really love those little guys. So little maintenance and very interesting to look at.
Great job Hydro! I really like bed #1. I bought 3 large Callicarpas a year ago...unfortunately didn't get them in the ground until this last spring, and 2 of them didn't get enough water this summer. So I think only 1 is thriving, so I am kicking myself a bit. I believe the other 2 are dead. The thriving one is just starting to put out tiny berries, that are white so far. Perhaps purple berries by mid October. I have some cleaning up to do of some beds also, and bulbs to plant. Thanks for inspiring me to get to work!
I worked on cleaning up as well. My experimental hillside planting of clover/erosion grass/wildflower seed ended up mainly as clover. Very few flowers germinated, despite regular watering. The clover really took off, I have both white and crimson. It was smothering my newly planted Oregon azaleas, but I just pulled it out and then wadded it back around each plant as a winter mulch. Other than that, most everything I planted this spring seems to be doing well. Hoping I won't have to water next season - I'm not very good at remembering.