Cleanup: the patio

What may be the main focal point of my garden is the central patio. It's a great place to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the yard, and it's also nice to look at, in season:

You can see it from all parts of the back yard, from the deck, from all of the windows on the back of the house... so really, from almost anywhere. It's important to keep it looking nice.


Right now, it's not looking very nice at all:

I didn't do any work on this at all last Fall. None. Besides raking up leaves, there are dead annuals to remove from containers (hanging and grounded), a couple of patches of sedges to trim, vines to yank down, and groundcover vines to prune.

Before I get started though:

New gloves! I got tired of the cheap $2 gloves that I have been wearing for years. They're bulky, not too comfortable, get really stiff after being wet, and don't last long enough. Sometimes they wear out and a hole forms, but more often a seam will come undone. So I decided to go for a modern and more expensive ($10) design and see how it holds up. It's form-fitting which may mean my hands will get much hotter in the summer, but they're quite comfortable, they're padded, and all of the seams are double-stitched.

On to the first task: the blue zinger sedge. It's spread into a fairly large patch, but since it gets more shade here it's not as healthy-looking as the patch I have near the stream.

Cutting back is easy with the hedge trimmers.

You can see evidence of the spreading of this sedge from the tuft that has worked its way under the board that tops the wall. I like plants that spread!

Next I really have to take care of this mess. It was a pot of various annuals, including "Wandering Jew" Tradescantia zebrina. Simple to yank it all out and rake a bit...

Ahh. That's more like it. Why didn't I do that months ago? That blue pot contained some oregano two summers ago, and you can see that the oregano reseeded itself in the cracks around the pot:

They're a nice accent in that little nook of the patio. I just need to keep them trimmed, but never need any care at all. Besides plants that spread, I like plants that reseed too. Speaking of plants that spread, here's another sedge: Carex "Ice Dance":

There's a lot of green in there, but it really needs to be chopped back as the fresh foliage is much nicer. Next to it is another sedge: Carex caryophyllea 'beatlemania':

Here are the trimmed plants:

Looks like I need to take some divisions out of there and make a little more room. As I said, it spreads quite readily (but not uncontrollably). Here's an example:

That little tuft on the left will be a full plant by the end of the summer.

So a bit more sedge trimming, more raking, and trimming of some groundcover vines that have made their way onto the patio...

... and we're all finished (for today). Doesn't really look that much better since the flagstones are still wet and dirty where all of the leaves are, but in a few days it will look a lot cleaner.

I still need to pull down the vines, do a little more trimming, and scrub the retaining wall "bench", but that's for another day.

How long did it take?  about 1:00
Total time spent on clean-up so far this year: 11:30 (11 hours 30 minutes)

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Theresa de Valence  – (June 20, 2016 at 10:34 AM)  

Very enjoyable post, thanks. (Found you through a google search on carex beatlemania).

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