Under the deck stairs: a mess

Under my deck stairs is an interesting place. During the growing season it's pretty inaccessible, as several different plants block it off. During the winter though, it's wide open and I take advantage of that and use it as storage. Since one of the perennials that grows here is one of the first to wake up each year, I can't wait too long to clear out this area.


That's one of my Dicentra spectabilis or "bleeding hearts" pushing its way out of dormancy. It's a little late this year, but its appearance is my reminder to remove everything that's under here, so that's what I'll do today.

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You may remember that I forgot one bamboo plant when I covered them all up before winter, and stuck it under the deck here:


That seemed to work pretty well, as there was only a small amount of leaf damage due to the cold. (The plant was wrapped in plastic so there was no wind damage.)

There are other plants under here too, several pots, and an old table that I need to get rid of:


Not the most attractive of displays, but that's why it's under the stairs, right? Let's look at the plants...


I was wondering where those Irises were! Since this was my first year growing them I wasn't sure what to expect. They're quite cold-hardy and pretty tough it seems. I can't wait to see them flower!


The crocosmia I bought last year but never planted, as I couldn't decide where to put it. I wonder how it did in the pot?


Not very well it seems. It appears that the bulbs (or are they corms?) have rotted. Shoot. I need to figure out how to get these to survive the winter, as I love the flowers!

Plenty of pots:


I wonder why I didn't put these away in the garage with the rest? I'll be less lazy next year I hope.

After I pulled everything out, I realized that there was more under there than I remembered.


Some of my natives:


That's Rudbeckia triloba on the left, which I have a zillion of now all over the place. Good thing I took the time to pot some up. Also Callirhoe involucrata, which seems to be reseeding quite a bit too. That's good though, as the rabbits and deer both like those, and if I want to see those beautiful "wine cup" blooms I'll need more plants than they can eat.

My horsetail, which I haven't put into the ground yet not because I'm afraid of it spreading everywhere (which it can do under ideal conditions) but because rabbits always eat it down to the ground:



I think I've finally convinced myself that it is cold-hardy enough, as it retains at least some green each year.

This is a seedling from my fernspray cypress:


It doesn't look anything like the parent plant, but I want to grow it for a few years to see what it does end up looking like.


The dappled willows are super-hardy, and always leaf out so early.


These little pawpaw seedlings don't look like much, but they're alive and I'll see how much I can get them to grow this year. How long until they start bearing fruit I wonder?

Then there are all of the different bamboos:


You can see that there were varying degrees of winter damage, from almost none to full topkill. It won't be long until they all start shooting and producing new growth.

All that's left to do now is pull the big bamboo pot out of the ground...


...then put it somewhere where this plant (Bashania fargesii) can get more sunlight and where I can see it better:



And that's everything pulled out of the storage area under the stairs. Now I just need the weather to warm up a bit more so I can get all of the plants out of my garage...

I'm so looking forward to being able to park in there again someday.

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Gerhard Bock  – (March 18, 2011 at 7:15 PM)  

Alan, kudos to you for tackling this now instead of procrastinating like most of us would do.

You had some neat plants under there. I love horsetails but wouldn't ever put one in the ground. Not only are they invasive, they're almost impossible to dig up.

Gerhard
:: Bamboo and More ::

Kristin  – (March 18, 2011 at 10:11 PM)  

Love the photo of the emerging bleeding hearts - the new shoots are such a great color!

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