You know how sometimes, when you go to visit a certain friend, her plants try to eat you as you walk up the steps? Plants, brushing against your legs much too freely. Thinking naughty plant thoughts.
That's terrible! Plants, reaching out to grab you! Bees, zipping past your head, flying towards those delectable wildflowers! Hummingbirds divebombing your head (Only if you're lucky.). Eek!
Well, I'm here to tell you that all that has now changed.
"Oooooh! Tell us more!", you say.
Well, plant safety concerned friend, here is what the left side looked like on 8/21.
Notice the evil strawberry plants lurking right next to the bottom step. Evil. Lurking.
On 8/29, I pulled out all of the coneflower and brown eyed Susans and relocated 3 plants I wanted to keep.
I then weedwhacked the remaining weedy grass that was left, avoiding the clematis tanguica by the top front step and the lavender that I had moved in April, but didn't concern myelf with all of the weeds around it. What was I thinking?
Perhaps I was thinking, "How can I possibly make changing this out even more difficult than it already will be?"
That might have been it.
After not killing off the remaining strawberries and the previously mentioned items, I sprayed the heck out of the shortened weedy bits with RoundUp. Liquid Plant Doom. Now it's all slowly dying away, although I have a sinking feeling that I will have to respray certain sections again (Nothing stops the strawberry plants! Nothing! Undead plants! Aiee!).
Immediately after, with a tall cool drink in hand, I started thinking, "Well! Now that I can safely walk up on the left side of the stairs, it sure would be nice to be able to walk up on the right side of the stairs as well." I'm a stair hog, I guess. Dreaming the impossible dream and all that.
So, when faced with sunflowers taller than you are and more bees than you care to shake anything at, sticks included, what would you do?
Well, start cutting flowers off during the heat of the day while the bees are most active, of course!
My girlfriend-in-law suggested that I make bouquets before I just chop and chuck and so I did. When I was done cutting, I had to perform a little bob and weave with the pitchers of flowers in order to not bring bees into the house with me on the cut flowers. Feeling sorry for the birds who normally flock to the seedheads, I lopped off any heads that appeared to be full of seeds and tossed them into a separate container to save for later. Then I took a break for lunch. It was hot!
Later in the afternoon, I returned and began lopping away in earnest. A couple of hours later, well into dusk and the no bee timezone later, I was done.
No more sunflowers, rudbeckia, Mexican hat or weeds. Just a few plants that I still like that were struggling to keep up. This, by the way, is my unwatered garden section. It only gets what falls out of the sky and any over-spray from the sprinklers on the other side of the steps. Where we live, barely any water falls out of the sky, so it was pretty amazing to me how well these plants did.
And then I killed them!
That's OK, I have plans. Plans, I tell you! Plans that keep me up at night, plotting, imagining what these sections will looks like with different plants in them.
That is a lavender down at the very front of the picture, it will soon have a few more friends. The others left behind are some bright orange coreopsis, lamb's ears and a blanket flower. I may just leave them right where they are planted and then pop more plants in around them. They're already shaking in their roots, though. They saw what happened to the other plants. They all went into the giant trashcan, completely filling it, except for those few plants that were chopped into small pieces and will be used for compost.
Turns out you shouldn't use any part of the sunflower plant in compost because of its seed germination inhibitive properties. Not sunflower seed growing properties, mind you, just everything else. So out of all that plant material, only a tiny amount was used for compost. However, I feel that with the sheer amount of stuff I keep out of the waste stream normally, the occasional trashload can be set out without negatively affecting my karma. Composting karma.
Since it has cooled down a fair amount, it may be time to start dividing plants from the front yard and bringing plants around from the back yard and breaking out the seedlings in the basement. Whee! Plants! Planting plants!
After all of that work, removing plants, I'm just gonna go put more in?
Uh...yeah. It's all part of the plan!
This time, I promise they won't try and eat you.