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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

So much daylight (and progress, too!)

Yesterday, I wasn't quite sure about daylight savings time. I didn't bounce right out of bed in the morning, since my usual wake up time of 5:30 was by my body clock 4:30. That's early, even for me. Then, it was cold and damp and very unfriendly outside most of the day, so I didn't even think about working out in the yard after work.

But today, I think this daylight savings time is a good idea. I didn't have as much trouble getting up (though it was still dark when I got up and when I left for work). When I got home, I had time to eat, and then still do a couple of hours worth of garden clean up. We should have done this daylight savings time thing a long time ago!

I made some good progress on cleaning up the perennials. I've set aside my work on the ivy bed for the time being, even though I am a long way from getting rid of all the ivy. I decided I should work on other clean up and then come back around to the ivy. It will wait.

Now that the perennials are mostly cleaned up and cut back, I need to turn my attention to weeding. I've got some "issues" with grass that has crept into the flower beds and with some plants I put in that have mis-behaved on me. I'm almost embarrassed to list these problem plants, because some one will say "I told you so" or " you should have known better". Here's the list of the worst:

1. Moneywort. I'm not sure of the correct botanical name or if this is even the correct common name. I just now this forms a thick carpet of leaves and chokes out everything around it that isn't of any size. I am sure there is a place for this plant, but that place is not in a perennial border. I am going to try to dig this out, but I may have to resort to digging out the perennials around that area that I want to keep and then killing this off with Round Up.

2. Variegated Artemisia. I like variegated varieties of plants. Normally, I would not plant an annual Artemisia, especially one that grows 3 - 4 feet tall and self sows all over the place. But, IT HAD VARIEGATED LEAVES. It had variegated leaves. Need I say more. I think this one is manageable, if I am diligent about ripping out the seedlings that I don't want.

3. Zebra grass. Someone gave me this grass. It is pretty, a nice light green with white striping. However, there are a couple of areas where it has spread too far. I'm going to have to cut it out where I don't want it and do it soon before it gets of any size.

4. Blood grass. Someone gave me this grass, too. It is also pretty, green with red tips. I think I just have it in the wrong place. I want to cut it out from where it is and move it, probably somewhere near the zebra grass so they can fight it out. The problem is that this grass is VERY difficult to pull out and the leaves are a bit sharp, so you have to wear a good, thick pair of gloves when you mess with it, or you will cut yourself. I think I will have to dig out all of this grass, and then replace the soil in that spot.

5. Ivy. Enough written about this already.

6. Tansy. It self sows like crazy. I've not planted it for at least 7 or 8 years and I've not let any go to seed, that I know of, for at least 6 years, and I'm still pulling this out in a few spots, but it is for the most part 'contained' and manageable at this point.

7. Snow-in-summer. This one isn't a big problem, because it pulls out easily enough, but I do need to do some work to contain it a bit in a few spots.

8. Variegated goutweed. Aegpodium podagraria var. variegatum. Nice fancy soundling Latin name, isn't it? I also dug this one up from someone else's garden. I had forgotten how well it spreads in good soil. It is choking out the vinca that I would rather have, so I'm going to have to get forceful with this one, too. It won't pull out easily, I'll have to dig it out. (IT HAS VARIEGATED LEAVES!)

And, I have a few weeds that I need to take care of, in addition to the grass. Most common is ground ivy, which is growing in few spots in some of the flower beds, plus there is a lot in the raised bed vegetable garden paths. A close second to ground ivy is chickweed, which is a problem in just a few spots.

That's 10 rogue plants I need to deal with. Wish me luck and with a few more sunny, long evenings, I'll have it under control.

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