Spring Cleaning

April 14, 2011 7 Comments

I managed to get some cleaning around the house done last weekend.  And when I say “around the house” I mean around the house.  I got all the winter detritus out of the plants surrounding the house along with getting the front raised bed cleaned out. 

Cleared out the leaves that got stuck in the raised bed around the plants. Also cut off the dead stuff on most of the plants.

This is the side of the raised bed by Ole the Rose Bush (brother to Sven the Rose Bush in my backyard). I only got stuck once by a discarded branch of thorns. The irises cleaned up nicely, so I should have to worry too much about the rhizomes rotting.

The spirea and irises got a good cleaning out too. And in the process I found a nice present left by a neighborhood cat. Well, it wasn't really that nice.

The hydrangeas are starting to show growth, so I cut off last years stems. These bloom on new growth, so all the energy will go into pushing that new growth out of the ground.

Some of the new "babies"

Our original "north side of the house" garden. I think the bleeding hearts grew a foot in one day. I took this picture a couple of days ago and yesterday the bluebells (on the left) were already starting to show their colors.

I unwrapped the red pot and cleaned up all the old daylily leaves. It looks 1000 times better....although the pot looks like it is leaning. Hmm. We'll have to work on that.

The new "north side of the house" garden is showing growth, too. The white bleeding hearts and most of the columbine are coming back.

The lungwort made it through another winter.

More growth showing up, including spiderwort and another bleeding heart. There are more bluebells here, too!

And we started putting the pots out. This is our "Michael" pot in memory of one of Dwayne's cousins. I am considering putting pansies in it to add some color. At least until it gets warm enough to put something else in it. What do you think?

These are a pair of Dwayne's old workboots. They already had extra holes in them, so we cut a couple more and added some succulents that seem to thrive in them.

And the strawberry pot made it to its summer home. Although, it doesn't have any strawberries in it. So, it is actually a Hen 'n Chick pot. That doesn't flow as well.

Next up... the Main Garden. Lots to cut down and clean up.

Walking around looking at all the work that still needs done, I noticed my Fern peonies are coming up. They look really good. And it looks like they are spreading! Mom, if you are really, really nice to me, I may let you have some of them back!

My trillium is coming up, too. I have to, um, relocate some black eyed susans and coneflower that are starting to encroach, but I already have places picked out for their new homes.

All that is left of our beautiful River Rennaisance birch tree. It got knocked over in a wind storm in 2007 and then the rains of 2008 finished it off. We left it up for the woodpeckers to work at.

Mother Nature took it down with the winds last Sunday.

It still needs to be cleaned out, but the Knock Out rose is coming back from its severe rabbit pruning over the winter. I can't wait to smell the flowers!

There is plenty more to do, but the yard waste bins got full.  They are empty now, but now I just have to wait for Mother Nature to cooperate.

Dig it!

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  1. JK says:

    Like everyone else, I have so much that is up…now with this snow, can you tell me what to expect if anything? It certainly wasn’t enough to do major damage was it?

    • Eileen Loan says:

      JK, It may have nipped a few things at the tips, but early plants are usually built to take the weather changes. If it is brand new plant you just put in the ground, it may have a tougher time, but most of what was there last fall, should be good. But, as I said before, it may have some tips that are affected. The rootball should be fine since the ground temperature changes much more slowly.

  2. JK says:

    Thank-you so much Eileen!

  3. Shirley Phillips says:

    I love your red pot. You said you unwrapped it. Was it left out through the winter? I thought ceramic pots would crack if left out with soil in them.

  4. Lori says:

    Hi Eileen,
    I moved to a new home and this is my first year tending to this new hydrangea. Last summer, the plant was beautiful! Now I am trying to decide if I should cut off the old stalks. I noticed you said you cut them off this spring. Is that the traditional approach with most hydrangeas? I am not sure what kind this is, but it had beautiful burgundy and cream flowers last summer.

    • Eileen Loan says:

      Lori, Congratulations on your new home! Your hydrangea sound beautiful.
      I’m not sure what kind of hydrangea you have, so that will make a difference in whether or not to cut it back. Mine is the Endless Summer and it blooms on this years’ growth, so it is okay to cut the stems off. There is an oak-leaf hydrangea that blooms on the previous years’ growth, so you don’t want to cut that one back. As the name implies, the leaves on this one look like an oak leaf.
      If you are not sure, I would wait to see where the new growth is coming from on the stem. If it is coming from the ground or the very bottom of the old stem, you should be okay cutting the old stuff back.
      Did you take any pictures of it last year? If you send it my way, I can try to pin down the variety and give you a better answer. Eileen

  5. Lori says:

    Hi Eileen, I think I will cut the old plant stalks back. The leaves did not look like oak leaves and I think this might be an endless summer as I did have a small one of those at my other home. There is growth coming from the ground or lower part of the stems.

    Thanks so much for your help! : ) Lori

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