Random acts of cleanup

I'm getting close to finishing all of my yard and garden bed cleanup, so I'm going to jump around to various tasks today. First up, these bamboos that are next to the driveway.

This is Sasaella bitchuensis. The new shoots and leaves are coming in fast, but I'm tired of looking at the ragged dead or half-dead leaves that were damaged by cold and wind last Winter. They may eventually fall off on their own, but I want them gone now.

So I'm taking matters into my own hands...

Literally. I just grab one of the unattractive culms and cut it somewhere above where the new branch is coming out. If there's no new branch, then I'll just cut wherever. When I'm finished, it looks so much nicer:

Same thing for this Sasa tsuboiana (before and after):

and this Sasaella masamuneana 'Albostriata':

All of these plants will look even better once the leaves are completely opened and flat.

There's this mostly-dead culm of Phyllostachy bissetii which has to go too:

Now on to something different. When I potted up the new bamboo divisions the other day, I mentioned that I would probably move them from the driveway to somewhere more shaded. This morning I did that. Since the pots were overflowing, and I knew that as soon as I tipped the pots back on the dolly I'd lose most of the mulch, I took precautions:

I wrapped the pots in stretchwrap. I have a couple of leftover rolls of this stuff, and it's pretty handy for wrapping bamboo that needs to be transported. In this case it does a great job of saving my mulch.

If you ever need to tip over potted plants for transporting, stretch wrap is a great "tool" to have. You can also use regular kitchen plastic wrap if the job isn't too big.

Moving on... there is a lot of euonymous under this Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Filicoides', and it's got to go.

Euonymous is nice for a very small accent, but it quickly spreads. I'll yank it all out of here. Yep, I'll pull out every piece I can find. Know why? because I'll never get every piece, and it will grow back in the small amount that I like.

It's all the way over here by the stairs too.

All cleared out now. I also got rid of a lot of violets that were in and under the euonymous. I think I'll mulch this area more heavily this year.

See that "string" dangling down in front of me in that photo above? It's the vines on the pergola over the patio, which is right above me now. Time to pull those down finally.

That was relatively easy, although I had a lot of vine fragments fall on me. (No photo of the vineless pergola.) One advantage to waiting this late in the Spring to clean up these vines (instead of doing it in the Fall) is that the vines are really dry and brittle for the most part, so they come down very easily.

What else? Oh yeah: Chasmanthium latifolium seedlings:

Chasmanthium latifolium is commonly called by many names: northern sea oats, inland sea oats, Indian woodoats, and probably others. It's got a lot of names, but that's somehow appropriate for a plant that produces a lot of seedlings. Here you can see a dozen or so, but there are many more. For instance, here's one tucked under a Sage:

Luckily they're pretty easy to find, identify, and remove (when small). I started counting as I pulled them, but stopped in the 30's. I like this grass, but it does spread by seeding.

Speaking of grasses, here are a couple that I planted temporarily last year. Not sure what to do with them yet, as I may need this space for something else later this summer. I don't want to wait until they're too big before I try moving them.

There's a 'blue star' Juniper there too. Pretty hard to see them, isn't it? Kinda just looks like a patch of weeds.

A little weed and grass removal with a spade (the scuffle hoe would have worked too) and now it looks like something! Well, it's better at least.

I've forgotten something: The stairs down to the patio:

They're getting overgrown with sedum, and although I really like having hardscape (rocks, walls, stairs, etc.) almost buried in plants, I don't want anybody who's using the stairs to step awkwardly because they're trying not to crush my plants. So I clear most of the plants from the stairs, leaving a clean, safe walkway.

It may not look like a huge difference in the photos, but those few inches of cleared stair tread makes a huge difference when you're walking on them.

One interesting thing nearby is this 'Archers Gold' thyme between the stairs and the stream:

Its main stem is rooted in the soil next to this rock, but the entire plant is on top of this rock, and it has created a dense mat of roots.

It's easy to miss the stems that are off to the side, so it looks like this plant is growing on the rock only! You know it's impossible, yet that's what it really looks like!

That's it for today's cleanup. It was a lot of smaller jobs (except for the euonymous removal), and because of that I'll have to estimate the time it took. Only a couple of more areas to clean up though, and I'm getting excited about that!

How long did it take?  about 3:00 total
Total time spent on clean-up so far this year: 22:00 (22 hours)

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