Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spring Cleanup

"It's sping!
when threads of green willow
twine together, or tangle among blossoms
that are bursting their seams."

Spring has been a long time coming. April was so cold that there was no point in trying to prepare or clean up. This last weekend was the first real warm days that provided any opportunity to walk around and make plans. 

Like last year, the bamboo suffered. All of the plants were damaged by the long freeze that was winter. I was sure that this was going to be a problem, so a couple weeks back I braved the cold and cut back all the dead shoots. Doing this early allowed me to cut without having to worry about accidentally cutting new shoots. All of the plants show signs of new growth, some more than others. The plant I moved behind Buddha last summer is still not looking too good. The one behind the Moon window seems to be doing very well and will, I'm sure, fill in by summer.

There have been a couple of major casualties. The Japanese Andromeda (Pieris japonica 'Cavatine') I planted next to the S-shaped bench last summer was crushed by snow. I didn't think to cover it with any protection. 

I will move this plant to a bucket and see if I can bring it back to health over time and place it elsewhere.

I also had trouble with the Gem Boxbood (Buxus hybrid 'Franklins Gem') I planted next to the Yukimi lantern last year. It been doing very well and I was hopeful that I had a long term evergreen for this location. 

Spring 2013
Spring 2014
Unfortunately, the long cold temperatures we had last year killed off most of the plant. I attempted to salvage it, but too much was damaged by the freeze (it got worse after the picture above was taken). In fact, I had this problem elsewhere in the yard where other boxwoods were located. I am going to have to replace at least three other long-term plants as a result.

On a positive note, I planted the first new planting for this year - Mexican Gold (Bidens)

These annuals will bloom all summer and produce yellow flowers. I placed them in the small bed next to the back garage door, a location that gets lots of sun and has had good luck with similar plants in the past. I just need to keep the slugs away.

I also purchased some plants to fill in the two red ceramic jars at the front of the garden.

Again, if I can  keep the slugs away, they should last through most of the summer and add some needed color.

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