Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Cleaning...Finding Surprises

Before starting to spring clean

The big flower bed by the driveway and curb in the front of our house has been sadly neglected since the middle of last summer.  It barely got watered, yet everything flourished.  I didn't cut anything back in the fall or late winter like I should have, so I decided today was the day to get started on it!  As you can see by the pic above, it was looking pretty dead.  I pulled off dead passiflora vines from the obelisk. I cut lots of dead branches from shrubs and I did a bit of weed pulling and yanking of plants that spread by underground runners.

Cut off the dead branches from the Mealy Blue Sage and the Shrimp Plant.  Thinned out some of the Willow Leaf Asters and American Germander.

Already looking much better!!

In the process of thinning out some of the plants that have overstepped their boundaries, I found some treasures.  I've tried growing John Fannin Phlox for several years.  It barely produces in my garden and I'm not sure if it's the soil or the sun exposure.  Last year, I pretty much gave up on it.  This year, I found a lovely little clump of phlox and some babies!  The fork is there because I used it to mark where the original plant was planted 3 years ago.  It also helps me not step on any new babies as I tromp through the bed.

John Fannick Phlox clump
In addition, I discovered this plant growing amongst the Willow Leaf Asters.  At first I thought it was a Willow Leaf Aster until I looked more closely at the leaves and noticed that the leaves on this plant have a more serrated edge whereas the aster has a straight edge on the leaf.  I vaguely remember broadcasting seeds from the mother plant last fall.  This is such a beautiful plant to have flowering in the fall.  The bees love it!

Yellow Goldenrod
I was also surprised to see a few flowers blooming. 

Wood Violets growing in between the bricks on the walkway.
Four Nerve Daisy will bloom away until the heat sets in, then slow down.  They pick up again when it cools off in the fall.
May Night Salvia stinks, but is such a glorious flower.  This little plant is several years old, has been divided a couple of times, and continues to put out new growth and flowers in the early spring.