Today’s the day I was going to start my spring cleanup in earnest, cutting back or breaking off everything from dead six foot high ornamental grasses to dead six inch high perennial stalks. This multitude of stalks and stems have been standing tall all winter, providing interest as they swayed in the wind or poked through the snow, and also provided shelter and a bit of food to insects and birds. I won’t be carting a lot of last year’s growth to the compost bins, but rather I’ll try to break or cut it up so that it can act as a mulch on this year’s garden. Woody branches and anything with unwanted seed heads will go onto the burn pile. Small leaves that have landed in garden areas will stay where they are, decomposing and providing food for worms
It usually takes me a few weeks to get the clean-up done to my satisfaction (including tree and shrub pruning), and, as I said, today was they day this annual process was to begin. Sadly for me (not for the garden, I imagine), it’s raining, and is forecast to be wet all day. So these shots are from yesterday, when it was gloriously sunny, 11 degrees above zero, and I was able to do a bit of pruning in the late afternoon. For more Sixes from around the world, take a look at The Propagator’s site.
1 – I posted last week about the first snowdrops (Galanthus sp.) and they’re still here, of course, and will keep on blooming for several more weeks. Some have just emerged.
2 – The foliage produced last fall by Muscari has started to perk up. I planted a new variety last year – M. latifolia – looking forward to seeing how it looks.
3 – Something else ‘new to me’ I planted last year is the species tulip Saxitalis. There’s a lot of them out and about in the garden, but these seem to be the first three to poke through. At least, I think that’s what these are!
4 – Here are the first Crocus – these survived deep snow beside the driveway, and also survived being run over by the snow plow. They’re the first of many hundreds that will soon poke through the thawing soil.
5 – And then there are the daffs! The mini daffs are the first, I have a half dozen varieties here and there but these patches, in the back, are usually the first to poke through. Although I must admit I helped the process by pushing aside leaves and dead daylily foliage that had been protecting them. Don’t worry, I re-covered after I took the photo – we’ll get frost and flurries for another six weeks or so.
6 – Finally – from the kitchen garden, chives! Pretty anemic looking after I pulled away last year’s dead shoots but there’s promise! In a few weeks I’ll be snipping away, adding fresh goodness to salads and soups.