We have lots of beds here in the garden, along with lots of paths and even what I call the “woodland” garden. Today was the first big push on the post-Spring garden cleanup.
Our bulbs start as soon as the first rain arrives in December or January, so by this time most of them are spent and the foliage needs to be cleaned up from all the beds. The bed, just outside the backyard always looks pretty ratty at this time of year. This always bugs me as we have our big summer party in June and about all I can do is make sure the bed is neat as there is nothing blooming at that time.
it is important to leave the foliage on bulbs after they finish their flowering so that they can recharge for the next season. Cut it off while it is still green and you will damage, if not remove, any display in the coming year. Of course, this often leaves things a bit messy. In this bed, most of the leaves are dead and a bit of raking removes it while still leaving any green leaves that are still working.
There was also a ton of leaf litter in this bed. This is true of the entire garden since we have so many mature trees. In the case of this bed, it contains both a large eucalyptus tree and a locust, which drops a host of small yellow leaves each Fall. This was of the main part of the cleanup today. I ended up filling both composters and still had to start a leaf mold pile next to them. Cleaning up the leaves let the recently divided agapanthus stand out a lot more. I noticed that one is even blooming. I guess my division didn’t do too much damage. You never quite know what is going to happen when you pull apart the larger clumps. These were so large, in fact, that they had pushed themselves completely out of the ground.
I also took the opportunity neaten up the low recycled concrete wall that I assembled nearly 15 years ago. It has probably been over 5 years since I last did it. The wall has no footings. It is just broken-up concrete sitting directly on the ground. Over the years it slowly recedes into the dirt. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to get it back into shape, as you can see in the “after” picture. I have pulled some flagstones out of the front garden as we did grass removal there and I am thinking of topping this wall with a few of those to dress it up a bit.
I am looking for something I can plant in this backyard bed to give it some interest during this time of year, yet doesn’t impede the growth of the bulbs next Spring. I am usually a perennial only gardener, but I just might go get some bedding annuals to put in here before our party. That would be a change! (LAUGH)
Hope all i well in your garden. Please add a comment here or on the AGN Facebook page and let me know what you are doing in your garden.