28 October 2017

cleaning up...

Few days ago I tackled my unkempt tithonia wall. Snipped all the spent flowers, cut off all the dead, wilted leaves and sickly ones, too. Swiped tons of aphids for the fishes (my catfishes and loaches especially will be pleased). I hoped removing the dying foliage would stave off spread of disease, and also lighten the weight on the stems so the plants aren't quite so prone to fall over when soil softens after rain. It looks more airy and light, now- air movement among stems is good for plant health too, I recall. While I worked bees ambled around me, and a painted lady butterfly was nearby. Once on a flower just inches from my eyes- so I could admire closely how the light touched the colors on its wings.

Today I raked the front lawn. After the crabapple tree finished dropping its fruit- and most of its leaves- a few weeks ago, I cut the lawn shorter than usual and sowed more grass seed. A mix of sun-and-shade tolerant. Let a drift of leaves settle on the lawn during that time, which I think hid the seed well from the birds- I scattered it with handfuls of compost mixed in, the day before we had good rainfall. Now there is a nice flush of new green grass across the lawn. I am using the collection bag on the mower for the first time all year, so that seedheads of crabgrass get removed. It's less food for the lawn and compost pile, but I'm seeing a bit less crabgrass this year and I'd like to continue in that direction.

Walking around to see how yard plants have fared, need to start laying down leaf mulch for winter. Rhubarb didn't do so great.
Always forget arum will come back up here, in the fall. It reappeared a week ago.
Best thing in the back bed is heartleaf brunnera. It doesn't seem much bothered by insects or weather yet.
Hellebores I transplanted have done well- they really grew bigger, fast. I might even have a few more flower in the spring.
Around another tree in the backyard I planted out those two salvia cuttings. They're doing well- already sprouting new leaves.
It's the same area where I put silver dusty millers. I learned it's in the plant family artemesia.
That space around the tree doesn't look like much yet, but I hope it will fill in pretty- in a year or two.

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