Garden Report: October 2

In the fall, I do two big garden projects: I prune a small number of plants (hydrangeas, the geranium monster, and a couple larger perennials), and I weed out Bermuda grass from around plants where I can't spray it with Roundup. I also spray any Bermuda grass that's out in the open, but that is increasingly rare in the garden these days.

Pruned and weeded hydrangeas

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours pruning the hydrangeas. I'm still encouraging growth in these guys, so pruning is deadheading, and trimming out any dead wood, then removing a very few branches that are too spindly or thin to do anything but get in the way.

I also pulled out all of the grass and wire plant (Muehlenbeckia complexa) growing under and into the bushes. I planted the wire plant as a ground cover several years ago, and it has done a little too well. The hydrangeas have filled in the area nicely and I don't need the ground cover any more, anyway.

Front garden

I moved a couple of roses this weekend, as well. I made a little pile off to the side of roses I killed in the whole construction process -- this is not so bad, given how badly they were treated. Not to mention that I had too many roses in the first place. I have several more to move around or at least lift up to the new level above the wall.

The real pressure behind doing this work today was that I wanted to get started installing the new front irrigation, so I don't have to remember to water my new plants. The irrigation pipe was buried under the dirt pile, so I had to dig it out. Of course, now it's going to rain tomorrow, but at least when I'm ready for it I have the pipe out and ready to be connected up.

In the process of doing all this, I made that enormous pile of weeds, quite apart from the three other enormous piles of weeds that have already gone off in the city green bin, the additional enormous pile in the Fern Walk (I decided to take out my fuchsia because it only wanted to droop and lie on the ground, rather than looking shrublike), and the green bin full of weeds right now. We might have to borrow the neighbor's bin again this week.

My plan for the front here is to get the plants back into place, then build a paver patio around the magnolia (which is on probation right now, due to a precarious lean that has been non-responsive to staking) where we can have a table and chairs for hanging out. This will naturally all come together just as it gets so cold, rainy, and miserable outside that nobody wants to hang out in the front garden.

Scaffolding in the hallway

In the meantime, just so I will get distracted in time to not actually finish any of this, we finally set up the scaffolding in the hallway so I can work on the upper part of the wall. Remember how I started this a couple of years ago? Well, it turns out I never got beyond the first segment of the job, and I'd really like to get the hall into better shape so we can live in our house like moderately civilized people.

posted by ayse on 10/02/11