A few small projects

Yesterday I did a little project in the garden. It wasn't particularly fun, and would have been quite boring, so I didn't document the entire project. I would like to show you the results though. I'd also like to show a couple of other little projects from the last few months that I never got around to posting about.

The recent project is cleaning up the driveway. It really has two parts: part one is moving all of the "stuff" that's been accumulating there, and part two is cleaning up the bamboo hedge. Above is the "after" photo.


Way back in June I wrote about tying this bamboo up, as it's pretty floppy this year (the thin young culms can't support the weight of all of the leaves). In this "before" photo from that post you can see that the bamboo is pretty upright:

You can also see some of the accumulated stuff: pots, potted plants, electrical conduit, lumber, etc. I should have cleaned it up months ago, but there was always something more pressing to do. Maybe it's because I've been clearing potted plants off the driveway lately (when I redid the annuals bed for instance), but I finally decided to do something about this.

When I moved the lumber, a mouse ran out -- that was startling!

Anyway, the rope I used to keep this Phyllostachys bissetii hedge upright just wasn't doing a good job anymore, so I switched to a better solution: electrical conduit poles:

I'll have to connect them together in a stronger way -- maybe I'll use hose clamps as I did on my temporary greenhouse last winter. They're not very attractive though... perhaps I can wrap twine or thin rope around the joint to hide the hose clamps. For now, the zip ties will do.

I also cut off all of the low bushy culms (canes) that were hiding the base of the culms. The culms are not very thick yet (at most 1/2 inch, but typically smaller than that), but are still worth seeing, especially now that they're being held more upright. It's looking more hedge-like, which is what I want right here.

In a couple of years I'll no longer need to support them as they'll be larger and stronger, and I will have most likely removed most of the older thinner culms (the ones that are the "big ones" today).

You'll notice that there are still some culms drooping in the foreground of this shot, ruining the look of the hedge:

Those are actually on the end of the planting area, and I will probably add a similar support on this end too, but right now I couldn't find an appropriate length of conduit and I didn't feel like cutting any. I'm really pleased with the way this looks right now, especially since I've replaced all of the mess with a few potted plants.

About a week ago I started this driveway cleanup by removing the driveway crack sunflowers.

Although they're still producing flowers, overall they're looking pretty bad, so I decided they had to go.

I think it's amazing that they've been producing flowers for 2 1/2 months, especially since they're growing in a driveway crack!

The final little project is another cleanup from about a month ago. It's this pot of peppermint that I have on the deck:

As you can see it's spilling way over the edges of the pot. (Ignore the bamboo which is doing its best to keep us from seeing the mint.) The plant is too big, and looks quite messy. It's also hard to keep watered enough with all of that foliage to support. So I hacked it back:

That's better, except for the mess underneath. There are tons of seeds or insect droppings that have fallen, or maybe it's a combination of both:

I like having this mint right on the deck, but it is a bit of a mess. I love the scent, the taste, and the nice little flowers:

I may have to dig it up next year and chop off a good part of the roots and stolons (the above-ground horizontal stems that cause the plant to spread), as this year the plant seemed much less healthy than it did last year. Replanting a smaller section of the plant should really invigorate it, resulting in much healthier foliage.

That's a quick look at some "small" cleanup projects. They're not that much fun to do or to write about, but I love the satisfaction I get from doing them.

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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (September 13, 2010 at 1:16 PM)  

Alan, I love your blog. Your writing is informational and inspiring, and your photos are awesome. Thank you for all the effort you put into this. (P.S. I'm a bamboo aficionado and found your blog through Bamboo Web.)

Alan  – (September 13, 2010 at 10:46 PM)  

Thanks Gerhard -- glad you're enjoying it! If you have any specific requests for posts, please let me know.

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