Monday, September 07, 2015

Fall Cleanup

I've been spending a lot of time in the garden recently, doing some major Fall cleanup.  The weather has been wonderful.  Relatively clear, but cooler.  Perfect for cleaning out weedy and overgrown areas before Winter hits.

I keep thinking I should have my camera, for some dramatic Before and After photos, but I tend to garden like a butterfly, flitting from place to place, not sure where to land and do some serious work.  And by the time I'm into it, I don't want to stop to find a camera, and I've already ruined my Before photo.

Today I started cleaning the underplanting around my Davidii involucrata tree, and I needed to step inside to flip the laundry, so I brought the camera back for a somewhat Before photo :
I'd already cleared an area, but you can see to the right and left of it, the succulents planted there had been overtaken by a creeping grass.  From my reading, I believe it's a type of creeping fescue.  A beautiful grass with a fine blade, and an ability to creep by underground runners to fill all available space.  Which is fantastic for lawn, but a disaster when it overtakes my garden areas.

This particular underplanting, I know I've weeded it diligently several times during the summer, trying to pull the clover and grass and other weeds from between the succulents, but have not been able to get ahead.  So today was the day for more decisive action.  I removed the grass and succulents and moss, and sorted it out, the moss and weeds into a large garden bag, and the succulents into little piles :

Then I replanted the succulents, and watered the whole area well:
Tree with handmade ceramic totems and succulent underplanting.

By Spring, I expect it will be established, and with much less grass growing through.  Although I don't think it will ever come back to the original design from 4 years ago.  Clearly, some of the plants dominated while others quietly disappeared.  Part of the design is covered by small everbearing strawberry plants.  But unlike other weeds which spring up unplanted and unwanted, these ones are welcome almost everywhere they chose to spring up, because they supply me with a fresh supply of tiny strawberries all summer and fall.  I can always find a small handful of these sweet treats when I visit the garden :

Here's the tree and underplanting from another angle, showing my ceramic totems :
Davidii involucrata (dove) tree with handmade ceramic totems and succulent underplanting.
...and :
Davidii involucrata (dove) tree with handmade ceramic totems and succulent underplanting.

Speaking of treats, I picked my last apples today, from the top row of my espalier tree :
Apple harvest.

They are not 100% ripe, the seeds are still a bit light, not dark, but I see too many apples chewed into, and the numbers are dwindling as the squirrels have been carrying them away.  Look at this beauty, this is the biggest apple in the bunch :
Apple from my espalier apple tree.

I did leave one apple for the ants, who looked like they were enjoying it :
Espaliered apple being enjoyed by ants.

No danger of running out of areas to clean up, either, if the good weather continues.  Look at the grasses coming through tiles of our giant outdoor chess board :
But as with everything in the garden, it can wait.  I'll be back.

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