Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Arbor bed cleanup

Brrrrr.  I say.  Brrrrr!   It was only 49F this morning, deeply overcast with a very chilly breeze.  By noon it was barely 60F and now, at 2:30, it's back to 58F.  You call this August?

Be that as it may, it's certainly a jean'n'sweatshirt day.  Cool.  Overcast. Time to tidy up the arbor bed.  The poor, neglected, suspect arbor bed.  Suspect because every time I clean it up the past couple of years, I am all the while wondering if it's worth the effort.

This year was no different.  I'm thinking hard, now, that something has to change.  

I don't want to totally lose the bed - the arbor needs a home and the bed itself balances the flow of the back lawns.

But does it have to be flowers?  Why not a ring of shrubs?  Maybe some small evergreens?  A hedge?  These things go through my mind as I wrestle with twisted nightshade vines, tree sprouts, wild strawberries, rampant perennial (pestiferous!) geranium.  

Then there are the overgrown and dense Dutch iris and bushels of daffs.  The peonies that I honestly don't care for.  Really.  Is this bed worth it?

I'll have to give some serious consideration over winter, but the thought of the outside ring being a hedge (evergreen or not) with perhaps some color in the middle might be way easier to care for.  Something that's not so much hands on as it's a bed best for viewing, not visiting since it's in bright blasting baking sun all of the day.  

I left most of the henbit as a ground cover.  The landscape fabric path is clear and I cut down lots of iris greens and lily stalks.  At least it looks a little better now.  

It would be really really hard to give up on this bed.  It was the only flower bed I had here for the first 5 years.  When I bought the place it used to be square and further down the hill.  I hand dug it (before I knew about lasagne beds) with a trowel to make it oval - and 'moved' it further up the hill.  This bed is the source of all other beds.  I just have to make it work somehow.  If evergreen or flowering shrubs will do it, or something else.  But this bed - in some form or another - stays.

I do like the hardy white hibiscus blooms in the middle.  Kinda crazy this year because I never got around to roping it to the arbor.  Looks like another trip to the yardwaste depot on Thursday. It's become a regular run these days.  Sure hope we get some rain soon.  We've only had .2" all month.  September doesn't seem to promise any better.  *sigh* 

Oct 2003 - early flower bed with previous owners' plants, mostly daylily



  1. Hi Kris
    If something is pissing you off 3 years in a row, I don't think that thinking about it another winter is what you need to do. I think you need to just get rid of the flowers, do the shrubs, etc and get on to better things. Just watch your selection of shrubs---you know how tasty they are to deer..........................
    Have I told you lately how much I hate deer?????

    1. Well, maybe just 2 years - and not so much pissing me off, but, like the ring bed, it's that the deer do so much damage in the arbor: phlox, lilies, etc. I guess it is more frustration and failure. So it's time to move on - and you are right, I'll have to be verrrrrry careful in shrub/evergreen selection. Too bad barrel cactus don't do well here...

  2. If thinning out a third this year and remove the ones that really bother you. That might help. I am facing an idea that I might move in a year or two and maybe I should start mowing some things down as the new owner probably will do that for sure. I guess lower work plants would be the best and that has to be the choice for your area. I am moving into hostas everywhere because I don't have to care for them But there are ugly hostas out there so I have to eliminate the bad ones and get some better looking ones.

    1. Hostas are at risk here - deer love them. I have to find something(s) drought tolerant for the high sun/heat/dry environment in that bed. Something easy. Something tough. Plastic is sounding pretty good right now. ;-D


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