Early morning weeding

It "rained" yesterday after a cold front came through. I think we got maybe 1/4" of rain, after two weeks of dry and above-normal temperatures. I was hoping for a lot more wet this morning, as there's no better time to pull weeds than after a rain. Here's the bed I need to tackle:

It's full of Shasta daisies, echinacea, plumbago, eryngium, and columbine, which is flowering now:

It's also full of maple seedlings:

and some vinca that climbed up into the box last season:

and Violets (buckets and buckets of violets in this bed)):

and some chocolate snakeroot that I actually purchased several years ago:

before I knew that white snakeroot grows wild (as a weed) in my yard:

Now I have both kinds growing wild as weeds in my yard.

It may actually be a good thing that the rain moistened only the top 1/2" or less of soil, as the violets pulled out quite easily. I use my trowel to help lever them out of the soil. It's quite satisfying to pull the violets, because they often come up as massive clumps:

After a full hour of pulling and digging weeds, it's finished:

It makes me feel good to look at this box now, knowing that pretty much everything growing in it is there because I want it there. Time to move on to something else, but something easy because I'm getting hungry!

Here's a mistake I made recently:

Believe it or not, that's a beautiful blue arctic willow which was looking really nice a few days ago with its powdery-blue leaves emerging. Then I forgot to water it. The warm temps and dry winds, although super-enjoyable for humans are not so nice for plants that like it somewhat moist and live in a black plastic pot. I let it dry out too much. But there's still hope, because I see evidence of new leaves after giving it a good soaking:

So I decided to prune it back and hope that it generates a new flush of branches.

Looks even worse now, but I'm pretty sure it will bounce back and in a couple of months will look better than ever. I must remember to put it into a larger pot and place it where I'll notice it every day.

One last thing before breakfast:

Around the roots of the big Silver Maple in my backyard there often are mole hills -- while they're tunneling they will hit a root and have to go around or under or something, and they end up pushing soil up in a mound. There were several mounds this morning, so I grabbed the hose to just wash the soil back into the holes (which I've found is the easiest way to get it back in there). You really do need to get the soil back down, otherwise it will form a "cap" over the hole, and you'll be stuck with this bare spot for months!

What's that sound? Do you hear that? That's the sound of the MoleMeter 2010!

Yep, imagine my surprise when this guy popped out of one of the flooded holes! (I call it a "guy", but I really don't know if it's male or female.) Good thing I was paying attention.

MoleMeter 2010 mole capture count:  02

Now some breakfast, and on to other projects. It's a cool but beautiful sunny Spring morning!

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