Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The BIG Clean Up

One of the things I love about spring clean up is uncovering all the plants that are beginning to grow anew. I can get a good close look and take inventory. The stalks and seed heads of plants that I leave standing over the winter (to provide shelter and food for wild life), are now definitely looking tired.

These grasses were actually swept up into a spiral shape by old man winter.

Ah, there, now spring can take over.

I can't believe these sun flowers are still standing!
This section receives the brunt of the winter winds.

I have mail order plants arriving for this bed and now she's ready!

Although my compost is ah, well, a little full.

Something I was not anticipating cleaning up this spring
is the removal of this tree.

As you can see here it is leaning precariously over our house. It is a boxelder (not known for their strength), and an accident waiting to happen. It is very well loved by the birds but it drops all sorts of debris on our back deck. As much as I hate to lose one of the few mature trees surrounding our house, it is best to just get it out of the way and move on. I couldn't watch as limbs and stumps rained down from the sky, and men with chain saws tramped through my garden ...

We compromised and left a stump. It will grow suckers and become a large bush. I will have to keep it in check but I am determined to make the most of this stump ... topped by a big bird house and maybe adorned by a climbing rose, she can still add beauty to the garden and provide for the birds and insects. I plan to plant a pagoda dogwood in this area now - well maybe not right now.

Oh, the BIG clean up! Just when I have so much else to do in the garden! Well, I am determined to make the most of this mulch pile, too. I'll tell you how in future posts. Right now, I better get to work.


  1. Wow. You have a lot of projects too! At least you won't need to worry about getting mulch! ;)

  2. That is impressive that the sunflowers were still standing! I love the Spring cleanup too, it's fun seeing all the fresh green again.
    Tree removal is a big job for sure, but better to clean it up that way than from on top of your house.

  3. We had a huge sugar maple come down in a storm. Took us all winter to chop up the wood, and I will be mulching for another year with all the wood chips. Our tree guy told us to wait a year to use the chips, they remove nitrogen from the soil.

  4. You have done a lot of clean up! Those sun flowers are really tough. I just planted some this spring. I'm looking forward to seeing them bloom! Look forward to future posts.

  5. I think that is so great you kept your boxelder - just a bit smaller :-)

    It is so interesting the the winter winds swirled your taller plants. I bet you are so happy to have everything ready for your new plants to be delivered.

  6. That sure is a lot of wood chipping that you have to spread around the garden! I like this time of year as well and seeing plants coming up, the trouble is I cant remember what some of them are yet

  7. It's a lot of work, but your clean-up made a big difference! And the tree - I know it hurts to lose a tree! But now you have all that mulch and a new area of exciting gardening possibilities.

  8. I love before and after pics! Things are looking ship-shape:)

  9. Thanks for commenting! Yes, freshly chipped mulch can rob nitrogen from the soil and raise its acidity so I have learned. But, like anything else, there are many opinions about the subject. It can be safe for trees or wooded plants, possibly perennials but not annuals or vegetables ... I would love to do a test if I can find the time and post my results here. Of course, I am still cleaning up - ha.


Thank you for joining me in my garden in the making!

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