My landscape garden (Zone 7A) is mature, and late winter/early spring is an excellent time to take care of any desired plant removals in the garden. In early March, not only did we have a dying tree on the riverbank cut down, but I took advantage of some good weather and good, hired help to purge a few things in my landscape that had become overgrown clutter.
|Boxelder tree - before - late winter, 2016|
|Boxelder tree - after (gone) - early March, 2016 (ground stump visible behind leaf blower)|
First, in the back landscape, I originally had seven Endless Summer hydrangea bushes (2004). Two + years ago, I had one removed to free up some of the summer overgrowth. In early March, I had three more removed, as pictured below. It is evident in the 'before' that these blooming shrubs had grown up against the brick wall, to the point where it was nearly impossible to pass among them.
|Before & After: thinning the hydrangea shrub area|
|Before, after hydrangeas removed, overview|
|Snowflake viburnum shrub removal; disguising exhaust pipe with paint|
|Trellis area during full-growth, summer|
|Winter (L) & early summer (R): Rose of Sharon, central to evening primrose patch|
|Summer: (L) Evening primrose full bloom; (R) Rose of Sharon in bloom, evening primrose cut back (container in foreground)|
In late March, I tackled some mulching, division of perennials, and more mulching. I will typically have a dusting of mulch in the beds in fall and alternate with a heavier mulching in spring, or vice versa with the timing. This year, I really only needed a dusting in spring for the front beds, but a heavier mulching in back where the hydrangeas were removed. I took this and the following chores on myself.
|Before and after: mulching back landscape where hydrangeas were removed|
|Underground water supply in back landscape|
Checking things off the to-do list, I next tackled a few bare spots in the grass which are caused by the chaise lounges and yard umbrella. The photo below shows the garden in June from a couple years ago, and how the chaises and umbrella consume the grass area. The teak wood has slats, and the cast iron umbrella base has fretwork, and even though we don't leave the cushions out or the umbrella up all the time, the pieces are generally positioned in the same area each year, making grass go bare over the years.
|Mid-summer landscape with outdoor furniture. Note mature growth in back.|
|Grass patching by overseeding where lawn furniture displaced growth on lawn|
|Before: targeted, clutter area in back landscape, with labels|
I started first with the lilac and lavender. Once I transplanted the lilac to just beside the garden flagpole at the center area, that freed the space immediately behind the flagpole to be replanted with the largest lavender. I moved the other two lavender (both white flowering) to the opposite side of the landscape, in front of my season statues by the larger Otto Luykens shrub grouping.
|Clockwise, top L: (1) before lavender & anemones transplanted; (2) lilac transplanted back to front; (3) largest lavender transplanted to behind lilac; (4) remaining two lavender transplanted to statue & shrub area|
|Top to bottom: (1) anemones transplanted to another statue area; (2) more anemones transplanted to behind hostas, diagonal from hydrangeas; (3) anemone transplants viewed from back corner (L), closeup (R)|
|Before (top): targeted clutter area; After (bottom): shaping up the area|
|Clockwise (top L): (1) mountain bluet (foreground) before division: (2) divided bluets planted in semicircle around concrete pedestal); (3) view from ground level of transplanted bluets|
|Clockwise (top L): (1) after transplants & mulching, view from center back landscape; (2) after dust mulching left landscape bed; (3) after dust mulching front landscape bed; (3) early spring, view of back landscape, lawn from front|
I did refrain from getting any poison ivy rash throughout these early spring chores, and that's a huge plus. It's a lot easier to see what's in the ground when it's just emerging. It's also a lot more fun to work in the garden when the temps are cool in the morning. However, the weekend's chaotic mix of high winds, freezing temps, and snow flying was just a tad extreme.
|Overview of landscape, April 9, 2016 - Sprinter - Spring & Winter|
Thank you for joining me on my landscape spring chores recap! Your readership and comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
Rita C. at Panoply