An athletic and industrious squirrel has been cleaning out the bird feeders in the front yard, despite the rodent baffle on the pole. It is presumably preparing for winter. I moved the feeders to the backyard, in hopes that the dogs would do their duty and keep the feeders relatively squirrel-free. I also adjusted the baffle. So far, there have been no squirrel sightings, but not too many birds yet, either. They will come eventually.
My SO came over last weekend and helped me prune the purple leaf smoke bush. If you click here, you can see how it infringes on the rhododendron's personal space. The poor rhododendron is a shadow of its former self. I hope it recovers.
|PJM rhododendron in center. Note lopsided growth habit.
According to my "records" (previous blog posts), I purchased four big blue stem plants in 2016. The funny thing is, three of them look alike and the fourth is not like the others. Three of them flop, one is much more upright. The floppers form seed heads before the upright one, but both types have that telltale turkey foot look to their seed heads. If any of you have an explanation for this anomaly, please leave a comment.
|Flopper on left, upright on right
I've been debating about what to do with the back corner which currently is a MESS. The fruit trees I chopped down defiantly keep coming back. Other plants include common milkweed, pokeweed, bindweed, Indian hemp, creeping Charlie, Canada thistle, Virginia creeper, plus various weeds I don't know the names of. In the spring, there are daffodils that don't bloom much anymore. Then there is the rather ugly madder plant I need to dig up; the roots produce a red dye. That corner has had many incarnations over the years, but I think I am going to give up on it and turn it into lawn. Toward that end, I have started the long and difficult task of clearing it out.