Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Garden Maintenance–Late Summer and Fall

Spent a couple of hours in the garden this past week doing the tidy-up. 

Late Summer is a good time of year for some simple maintenance and gives the garden a fresh look.  By removing all the brown, what is left is the green foliage, and blooms that were buried in the debris.

Here some coneflowers and Joe Pye Weed got some help standing tall. They were weighed down by the heavy heads and new bud that are forming. By propping them up, sun light and water can get to the plants, and freshen up the foliage.  Also removed some weeds that were hiding.


As I have said before, we lost several large trees last year, and this Caryopteris is liking the extra light.  New shoots and some great blue blossoms are a treat. The Liriope and it’s pale lavender spears are just beginning to bloom.

Yesterday, I trimmed back behind the rock border Sweet Woodruff.  The pathway was getting smaller and
100_3068needed to be groomed. 

Late summer is a great time to divide perennials.  Here I moved some daisies that were in another bed that is getting turned into lawn.  They do not look fresh at this time, but by keeping them moist for the next couple of weeks, the roots will take hold and will turn into a nice stand of daisies next spring.
Daylilies are another plant that divides and transplants well.  This area is where a Blue Spruce once stood, and is gradually getting filled in with my new plan for a border.  We also put some daylily root sections in these two red containers.  I hope they take hold and survive winter.  They may need some added winter protection which I’ll discuss later.

This is the Solar Eclipse Redbud we planted last spring.  A rainbow of orange, peach, lime, and gold are present in the new leaves as they mature. 100_3095
The green border of the mature leaf here is certainly living up to my expectations.


Maintenance of the late summer garden includes providing water.  Yesterday, this hydrangea was drooping and blossoms were hanging low.  After a good drink, today this side of the garden is perky and vibrant.

This pile of debris is from the front garden where I cut back Spider 100_3100Wort, Tradescantia, and dead fronds of daylilies. 

The pathway is visible once again after Lamium was trimmed back.  Just another bit of tidying once in a while.

This rose is the Sunny Yellow Knockout® rose.  I choose to leave the rose hips on the shrub.  It is a bit of color in the winter, and besides, pruning it is just one less thing I need to do on the fall maintenance list. 

The spent blooms of Hosta have been trimmed off.  I’ll wait till the rest have faded to remove them.  The Astilbe in this bed will get to keep their seed heads through winter.  As I told a fellow gardener recently, I’m a lazy gardener, and if I can keep from one more chore I will and call it ‘winter interest’.

These tarps of debris will get added to the compost pile.  With visions of future ‘black gold’ ready for the garden in spring. 100_3101
This large amount of debris is really misleading as to the time and effort it took me to gather it.  Over several days I spent less than two hours in the garden removing the brown and renewing the garden for a few more weeks of beauty.

Watering took a day of moving sprinklers every hour to cover the whole yard.  Even though we have had some more rain this year than during the drought of 2012, our area in Ohio is still about 4 inches below average rainfall for the year. Trees, shrubs, perennials, and lawn all needed this supplemental watering at this time.  And if the rains remain scarce, I will continue to water through the fall and into early winter until the ground freezes.

Thanks for stopping by today.  And enjoy your time among the plants.

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