My garden beds out front had definitely gotten away from me, weed-wise. There were several four-foot-high yellow alfalfas, as many goat's beards that tall and a volunteer Artemisia absinthium which I swear grew overnight into a bush three foot high and just as wide. The dandelions were galloping along at a fearsome rate and bindweed was strangling everything it could drag itself to and throw a hook on.
The poppies have enormous fat buds, but so far show no sign of opening. Everything else is gulping in sun and moisture and warmth and growing like stink, but blooms on most will come and go. I'm so desperate to fill in the empty space between my dark-leaved coral bells that I left a vigorous sulpher cinquefoil, a decision I am bound to regret in time.
I finally called Kevin, our landscape maintenance contractor, and cried "Help!" I asked him to send two sturdy young men I could supervise, as they tend to leave the weeds and pull the flowers. And I ordered a truckload of shredded cedar mulch, the kind that's dyed black. It will warm the soil in spring and keep the bleeping weeds down.
So, we arranged for two young men at 2:00 pm today, and instead I got two young men at a quarter to 10:00, which meant I was still in my jams and had just poured my morning cuppa when the phone rang announcing their arrival. Aiiiiii. I dressed, wet down my cowlick, grabbed my pruning shears and the walker and wobbled my way downstairs.
Fred and Kyle hit the beds and the way of the weed was gone. GONE. That Artemisia was a pill to get out. For something that had grown up in two weeks it had a formidable root system that required digging, then prying out with a long handled shovel and, in the end, pruning shears to get the roots. We had no choice but to leave some root in. There were other plants too close. It's gonna come back. I'm going to fight that thing until the day I turn toes up or sell this place. But for now it's gone.
|Still needs a bit of broom work|
After the beds were mulched we set the new topiaries in the new pots we bought last fall. I still have to go out and finish those off. I have ivy to wire in around the base, but we anchored the topiaries with a concrete block so our famous wind (or one of drunken tenants) doesn't pluck them from the pot and hurl them into the street, which is what happened with our last topiaries.
It was a good four hours work for two and I probably did what one of them did in 30 minutes, but I worked off and on the entire time. But it looks great. I need to replace two shrubs which were severely damaged by the winter, and am not sure what to plant. Needs to be hardy to zone 3, deciduous, able to take morning sun, but not requiring full sun. Any suggestions?