Stairs: better when usable

There are three stairways down to my patio: two from the driveway, and one from pretty much the bottom of the deck stairs. That last one is the main staircase, but it's not been getting much use lately.

The problem is that it's been blocked by Caryopteris shrubs. I planted these several years ago, but further back from the stairs. What I didn't know is that those shrubs reseed (a little -- nothing troublesome) and produce more plants. Cool, right? Except the new plants were closer to the stairs. Too close.


I've been meaning to do something about these, but once they went into bloom in August (or was it September? I wish I had a gardening blog so I could record these things somewhere!) I left them alone because they attract so many different types of bees.

Once when going down these stairs in shorts one of the bloom-covered branches went up my pants leg, and one of those bees stung me. Ouch. (Little bees sting as "hard" as bigger bees do I think.)

I avoided the stairs for a while after that, at least when wearing shorts.

Now though, there's no reason to leave the bloomless branches here.

So off they come!

Nothing fancy here, just hack, hack, hack the plants back.

And the stairway is clear again!

Although some of the lower steps have become overgrown a bit:

I really like having some plants growing on the steps as it softens things up, but this is too much. I want visitors to feel secure on the steps, not worry about stepping on plants. (Even if you tell them not to worry about stepping on anything, people still do.)

So out they come, and the stairs are now about as clear as they're going to get.

I have to do something about these Caryopteris though:

Transplanting is in order, but where to put them? I don't want to stick them into pots for the winter, as I've got so many pots to deal with already. I'll have to give this a little thought...

But at least the stairs are usable again!


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Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax!  – (October 27, 2011 at 2:03 PM)  

It's nice that the result is still relaxed. I was nervous at the beginning of this post that the steps would end up over-neat and boringly formal.

Alan  – (October 27, 2011 at 4:08 PM)  

Lucy: you need never worry about over-neatness in my garden. ;-)

Christine  – (October 27, 2011 at 8:50 PM)  

I kinda like the overgrown look, but I think it still looks all natural and 'unplanned' after the hack, hack, hack. I like the seating area the steps lead to. Looks like a wonderful space to while away a summers day.

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