Thursday, June 09, 2016

Lazy Fair

I confess I sometimes take a laissez faire approach to my yard, which is usually NOT a good thing. Plants get out of control, or worse, they die. The place starts to look like a jungle and becomes overwhelming in a very short time.

Topped cherry trees
Maybe it is the orchard and its requirements for severe pruning, but this summer I have been turning a critical eye toward the shrubbery and trees. That critical eye is frequently followed by a limb saw and/or lopper and/or snipper of one sort or another.

Topped apple trees
If I were more on top of things, I would have taken before and after photos. I might not have even taken these shots, but I'm reacquainting myself with an older, more compact camera, to take on the Garden Fling in Minneapolis come July. The light was not the best in most of these cases, but I think the camera itself will do.

Trimmed up redbud tree
The redbud tree closest to the deck was blocking my view of the backyard, so it was one of the first to get trimmed up. The other two received similar treatment. A plus to trimming up is it is easier to reach the base of the trees, which in this case allows me to keep the cardinal vine plants watered.

Trimmed up viburnum and redbud tree
Another plus to pruning is it keeps one shrub from impinging too much on its neighbor. This is a real problem with my forsythia, which are planted too close to the arborvitae. I've taken to whacking them severely.

Trimmed up arrowwood viburnums
Trimming up also allows more light to reach the bed underneath, inviting contemplation of what to plant as understory plants.

Trimmed up purple smoke tree
I have been more diligent about weeding. The other day it was the Canada thistle under attack, as the plants were starting to form buds. Yesterday it was something I don't know the name of but that is particularly prolific. Today I pulled errant northern sea oats from behind the rhododendron. (For more about battling weeds, see gardeninacity's post. What he said.)

Volunteer oak tree
More diligent weeding has uncovered some surprises: the baby oak tree above and the volunteer elm tree below. I plan to let the elm continue to grow in situ, between the Viburnum prunifolium and a Rose of Sharon shrub; it will break of the monotony of a row of bushes. If I keep the oak, it will have to move away from the house and into the yard, then survive absent minded mowing.

Volunteer elm tree
Regarding the gayfeather mentioned recently, I did move it, to the prairie sampler bed on the south side of the house. Initially, it is pouting - no one likes to relocate - but I think it will be very happy there, eventually.

Moping gayfeather
In sadder news, something got to the broccoli plants.

Bitten broccoli
I took a tour of the garden fence and discovered this breach.

Animal incursion
Previously, I had reinforced this corner with additional poultry netting, as little bunnies were squeezing in and out of there. Apparently, that did not stop something bigger (woodchuck? rabbit?) from bypassing my effort. Sometimes I wonder why I bother to grow edibles at all.


Jason said...

I'm sure your Liatris will perk up with a little time, as long as it doesn't dry out. As for pruning, it definitely pays to give all your trees and shrubs a little attention every year. Makes a huge difference!

CommonWeeder said...

Really interesting, and inspiring post. I keep promising myself I'll learn how to prune, be braver while pruning and have a more attractive gardening. I look forward to meeting you in Minneapolis!