|Before fall cleanup
Something I would really like to improve is weed control in the vegetable garden, especially between beds. I've tried mulching with this, that, and the other, with minimal success. For my next method, I will try mowing. Toward that end, my SO helped me shift the raised beds to make the paths wide enough to accommodate the Toro.
|After fall cleanup (more or less)
Next year's big "something new" will be the mini orchard, starting with apples and cherries. I think. I get a little overwhelmed with the choices of fruit trees available, but am narrowing my first choices to varieties that are naturally resistant to pests and diseases, the better to ensure some success.
It's not just the backyard that receives my scrutiny. The bed by the front walk is filling in nicely, but I am discovering the arrangement of the plants is not the best. Specifically, some taller things need to switch places with shorter ones, and some varieties would benefit from clustering together rather than standing in isolation.
This summer I filled in a few blanks with marigolds, simply because I started more seedlings than the vegetable garden could accommodate. Next year I would like to use its cousin calendula instead, which should self seed. I hope that does not turn out to be a mistake.
I'm done with the old fashioned (i.e. mildewed) lilac by the driveway, so whacked it down; an almond tree may grow in its place. The burning bush will get a severe pruning, to give the gold mop a chance to fill in all around.
I'm also done with most of the ornamental grasses in front of the house - just too floppy - and plan to move them to the backyard. I think a maple leaf viburnum would be a nice replacement by the front porch.
This 'Hameln', however, gets prettier every day in the autumn. I think I'll keep it.
I visited a tree nursery several years ago in search of a tulip poplar. The owner shamelessly flirted while extolling the virtues of the sugar maple over a tulip tree. Yes, sugar maples are striking this time of year, but I like the tulip poplar I eventually planted. So much so, I want to plant another, to someday shade the deck.
The observant will notice some big blue stem in the photo above. It and its neighbors, a little blue stem and two varieties of asters, are destined to move to the back corner where they can spread out to their natural size. The plants I moved to the south side of the house this past summer will probably join them. Then I get to decide what to do with the newly vacated location. I get excited just considering the possibilities!