Our warm weather has not only put me in a mood for some garden cleanup, but it's given me some extra time to do it too. Logically that doesn't make sense, as early spring seems like it should mean less time for cleanup, but for some reason I feel like I am getting an early start, so more time.
In any case, I eased into the huge cleanup job (or an enormous number of small cleanup jobs if you'd rather think of it that way) by tackling a bamboo.
This is my Phyllostachys rubromarginata, and I expect big things from it this year.
I haven't really touched it since it was planted several years ago -- four? five? -- and it was looking a bit neglected. So congested, so many dead culms.
Here's the clearest view of it, from behind:
I started by removing all of the dead culms. That was pretty easy to do as dead culms don't contribute to the plant in any way -- unless you count the support they give, helping to keep the plant upright -- but I quickly moved on to removing the half-dead and thin culms too. Those were more difficult for me as they are still contributing to the plant in some way. (I don't mean it was physically difficult, just mentally so.)
Still, I pressed on and removed several. The result:
Ah, so much better looking!
Much lighter in feel too. Plus there's room for some nice fat, tall culms to emerge this year (I hope). I'll probably remove the drooping culm after shooting has finished.
That job done I took care of some Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' culms that were bent down by ice and decided they wanted to stay that way:
Nice that they were trying to hide my compost piles, but they're right at face level so had to go.
No "after" photo because I got distracted by something: the pond. I was planning on moving on to some ornamental grasses or other bamboos for more cleanup, but that pond...
...it captured my attention. Such a mess. A horrible, sickly, stinking mess. Once I really took a look I knew that I would not be able to move on to another task.
But that's a story for tomorrow. It's a nasty one, but don't miss it!