One thing leads to another

A non-rainy weekend day is a bit of a challenge for me in the garden. On weekdays I usually have very limited time for gardening, so the list of possible tasks is pretty short: some weeding, plant something, prune something else. I also can typically only tackle one or two jobs a day on weekdays. Weekends are another story.

With hours and hours available to spend in the garden, I can tackle almost anything on my long list of gardening tasks. That often makes it hard to choose where to start. Today was one of those days.

Luckily I remembered that there were some plains coreopsis seedlings in a pot on the deck that I wanted to transplant, so that's a good starting point even though it will only take a couple of minutes. It looks like something has been eating the leaves... maybe slugs?

Doing that reminded me that there are some year-old poppy mallow plants that I need to move, as they're too crowded:

There are two really close together here, and one of them is just inches from a perennial salvia, so that one has to go.

 I'm not sure I got enough rootball, but the plant should be okay:

While doing this I noticed that there are several more seedlings on the ground under the parent plant:

I'll leave those and see what happens. I suspect rabbits will find them delicious and they'll be gone soon, but since I think the best strategy in the fight with rabbits is quantity -- have too many plants for them to eat them all -- these will help with that strategy.

Looking at this, I notice that I have not yet cleaned up this part of the bed:

It contains my "Fourth of July" climbing rose (that I believe may have been mislabled -- we'll see what the blooms look like this year), a Salvia greggii 'Wild Thing' that's been doing great in this tough spot, and a few other plants that are surviving but not thriving.

There are a lot of oak leaves to rake out, and many tree seedlings -- mostly Ash. Yanking those were difficult with the super-thorny rose canes around, and I got stuck a few times. I put the poppy mallow I just dug in this bed too.

With that task finished I was walking back toward the compost pile and realized this bed has also not been cleaned this Spring:

The Caryopteris hasn't been trimmed, and there are so many violets growing here. I purposefully avoided this bed earlier because I wasn't sure if I wanted to cut the Caryopteris back hard, or just give it a light pruning. Now that the new growth is so substantial, the plant has chosen for me, and I'll just cut above the newest growth.

There were so many violets in there -- I must have neglected this bed completely last year.

Looking slightly to the right, I notice this Dicentra ("bleeding heart") is getting HUGE, and crowding out several other plants. It needs to be cut back a bit.

I also noticed several little seedlings, which I haven't seen in previous years. It's interesting because earlier this year my neighbor noticed this plant and said that they had bleeding hearts spread and take over the yard at their old house, and I told him I was surprised by that because I've never seen it spreading. The plant must have been listening! After chopping some parts off, it looks better:

With that out of the way, there's one last task I want to do today that I know is going to take a little bit of effort, and that's getting this "Sweet Autumn Clematis" vine onto a trellis:

I've been meaning to do this for weeks, and by putting it off I've made it into a more difficult job. I'm just going to put it on a simple tripod trellis made from electrical conduit and a hose clamp. (That's my neighbor's veggie garden in the background. I wish mine was as organized.)

Getting the angle of the legs isn't too critical, but you do want the tripod to be fairly upright -- if it's leaning too far one way or the other it won't look as good. The problem over here is the tree stumps. There are several large roots underground, and every place I want to stick a leg into the ground hits wood a couple of inches down. It takes a few tries, but I finally get them into positions I like.

You want the legs to be pushed in at least 12 inches, but 18 would be better. Tighten the clamp at the top, and this structure is rock-solid!

This vine doesn't climb the conduit poles too well, so I'm going to add some fencing around the bottom to get it going:

I'll tie up some of the longer vines and that's it:

It looks pretty terrible right now because all of the leaves are pointing the wrong direction, plus a lot of the vines snapped while I was wrangling it into position. Give it a few days to adjust and it will look fine. I may end up adding more fencing or maybe chicken wire) higher up the structure to help the vines climb, but we'll see how they do on their own first.

This has been one of those days where I go from one task immediately to the next, which can be exhausting -- both mentally and physically. Although I did cross a few things off my list today, I also worked on a few things that were not on the list. For some reason, this always leaves me feeling like I didn't do enough out here today.

There's always tomorrow, right?

Since there was some Spring cleanup of beds today, let's update the totals. There are a couple of areas in back that I haven't done yet this year, so I'm not sure if I'm ready to do a final cleanup tally yet. I'll decide soon.

How long did cleanup take?  1:00
Total time spent on clean-up so far this year: 23:30 (23 hours 30 minutes) 

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