Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Big Cut Down has Begun

I snapped this from my bedroom window at 7:30 a.m.
The light was hitting just right and everything looked pretty even though it was only 32 degrees outside.
Still I was ruthless and as soon as the temperature was in the 50's , I grabbed the Felcos, garden gloves and a huge wheelbarrow and set about chopping it all down. 
I worked for an hour or so, took a little break, then went back to cutting. I probably worked three hours and got all of this down - 4 wheelbarrow loads.
The section above was almost all daylily foliage--the worst to cut back. As you can see, three hours barely made a dent in the total amount I have to do just in this garden. That is why I have to start early.

DH was also outside getting a ton of work done--painting basement window trim, cutting grass, removing the arbor planters, etc . He raked up apples and hauled them to the compost area (which never really turns to compost because there is little sunlight).
Back in the rockwall garden this Obedient plant is blooming. You may remember that I have spent the past two years removing this plant from the Arbor gardens as it's very invasive.  I will eventually get rid of this, too; I am way too tired to do it today.  Some people, like Barb at Barb and Dell Designs, have a very pretty Obedient plant--nice fat flowers. I don't. The flowers on mine are skinny, whimpy things, so they must go.

I also cut down the dead dahlias on the deck and rearranged this area. The cannas have big fat buds and I just could not cut them down yet. It is supposed to be warmer this week, so I think they will have time to open into beautiful flowers.  I really can't believe they are still looking pretty good after 4 nights of mid to low 30-degree weather.

One of my side gardens is just now coming into its best bloom with a double perennial false sunflower that I call "Annette's flower"  because my SIL, Annette gave them to me.  When happy, this flower forms a 4-ft. tall thick hedge.  I used to have it planted in this garden, then got bored and moved it to other gardens. It never did well in the other gardens (needs a lot of sun), so last year I moved it back here and it is really starting to take off again.  You are getting the view from up on the deck because after all that cutting down work, I am too tired to walk down the steps. :)
I think "Annette's Flower" may be  Helianthus Multiflorus Flore Pleno.  I just realized that at this time of year the blooms in my Deck Garden are almost exactly the same colors as the blooms in the Messy Neighbor Garden. I call it that because it borders their property--it may even be an inch or two on their property.
It could not match better if I had planned it!  Sometimes things just work out....

Here is a close up of the flower when it was planted in one of my other gardens.

I am so glad I did not poke holes in the washtub I bought at the farmer's market in August. It was perfect to fill with water and bleach to disinfect the arbor wall planters that DH removed while I was cutting down plants.

I save the coconut fiber inserts to use year after year.
I will let these set out to dry completely and store them for the winter.

I am feeling good tonight because last year I did not get any of this area cut down, so I am way ahead already this year!  I think it's time to sit on the front porch  with a glass of good white wine and admire the big coleus planter before it's gone.

I can't believe this Sedona coleus is still looking this good after that cold weather. Coleus is usually the first to turn black at the slightest bit of freezing temperatures. I have not even covered it. I guess being so close to the house has protected all of my containers in the front.  I was thinking of buying a big orange mum  (like Eileen did here) and redoing this planter.  I have since decided not to bother, but Eileen did inspire me to stick a pumpkin face in, just for something different to look at.

This post is already too long, so I can't even tell you about the wonderful food I cooked or the 3 new shrubs I bought and planted.  I will save that for another post.  Suffice it to say that although I may be almost dead from exhaustion, I have had a very, very, very productive weekend!


  1. Like you I got a lot done. All the daylilies went last week, but more goes here and there. It sure cuts down on the spring work getting all this done now so it's worth it to me. You two did a lot today. Can't wait to hear what new shrubs you got. I got a few new ones too and they are planted. :)
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. You're right on top of things!
    I worked on the vegetable garden-clearing MILES of dead pumpkin and melon and butternut squash vines and starting to clear any annuals out of there.
    I'm fortunate that I have so many rocks in my perennial beds--it seems to have kept the frost away from those plants. The Agastaches are really spectacular. For being "heat-lovers" , they sure have some staying power!
    Have a great week, Zoey! And enjoy that wine-you deserve it after all that!

  3. I rarely cut anything down in the perennial garden, but I do work in the veggie garden.
    How great your liners look, it's hard to believe they aren't brand new!
    I read on blogs about the obedient plant and how bloggers love it, but I had an experience like yours and regretted planting it about 2 seconds after it was in the ground!

  4. I sure hope you hang some of your beautiful blooms to dry. Your gardens are beautiful. I've cleaned out the vegetable gardens and have almost all of my planters emptied or bought in the house to winter over. However; I still have to cut back the lilies and mulch.
    'hugs from afar'

  5. I'm still quite a newb, but I keep wondering - how much do I cut back, and how much do I leave for winter interest? How did you decide to cut things back?

  6. Zoey, your garden was looking so great. I don't think I could have cut it all down yet. I love the purple and yellow flowers in your deck garden.
    Thanks for the mention of our blog.

  7. The post was NOT way too long! You got a lot of work done. Wow! The ONLY thing I got done outside today was to cut my hydrangea blossoms off while they are still beautiful. There never seems to be enough time, does there?

    I'd say you deserve to put your feet up and enjoy a glass of wine, my dear! xo Diana

  8. boy Zoey you worked hard this weekend...looks great...

  9. Oh wow you got so much done Zoey! I keep thinking of the apples on the ground..would have loved those for apple pies:)Well maybe not in that state but when they were still on the tree:)
    Happy you got some relaxing time at the end of the day!

  10. Hi Cher,
    I bet most of us were working our butts off this weekend. I am happy to go back to work today to relax a bit!

    There is always so much to do in the fall. Ah, the wine was good.

    I once went on a garden walk and the gardener had a small city garden with beautiful Obedient plant. I ran right out and bought two plants -- I've been sorry ever since.

    You are way ahead of me. I will be cutting down for a long time yet. I did not dry anything this year. I even let the globe thistle go to seed.

    Hi Anne,
    I cut everything back except for the S. Autumn Joy. I only leave it because it's still in its bloom cycle until the snow flies. Because I have so much of it, I may cut it down this year. There is not much winter interest because the snow covers everything anyway.
    Oh, now that I have a hydrangea, I will be leaving that.

    Barb, I hesitated to begin cutting, but then thought if I did not start now, it would not get done. It was easy after the first plant was down.

    I was thinking of cutting mine off, but since it's my first year having them, I decided to leave them on.

    Yes, I did and I hope I don't have to work this hard next weekend!

    Those apples are not good eating--they are not cared for and are full of worm holes. I wish I had a good apple tree in my yard!

  11. you deserve the good wine! you are a diligent gardener and God bless you!!!!

  12. Zoey, your gardens are so beautiful. How I wish I had so much land. Why do you have to cut everything down? I basically let mine freeze and so far everything returns except coleus.

  13. I wish I had just a tenth of your energy!!


I appreciate you taking the time and effort to leave a comment. I will try to answer any questions you have. Please note due to Blogger changing word verification so almost nobody can read it, I have had to change to no word verification and only allow registered users to comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...