Wednesday, June 11

Garden Pic Wednesday: Gardenia Topiary!

A friend asked me recently how do I keep up with all the weeds?
At the time I didn't have a good answer to actually, because I've never really gave it any thought.  
So, I've been paying attention and what I notice is I weed as I go, while I'm doing other things. For example, all the spent day lily stalks need cutting and, as I cut them, if I see any weeds, I pull them up as I go.
My friend is just establishing mulch beds around her home, so she has pre-existing weed seeds still popping up. It will take a whole season of mulch build-up to eliminate that problem. (The heat and darkness mulch provides does that.)
My beds are all years old with deep, well established mulch.
Still, one cannot ever totally get rid of weeds, except by a layer of landscape plastic, which is practical where you don't plan on making additional plantings that will require digging thru it. 
 I like my flower beds free to be adjusted and I like volunteer flower sprouts, so I don't use landscape plastic. I do use newspaper.
Even so, there are weeds that travel by root underground, like wild blackberries, and things squirrels bury, like tree seeds, and things birds poop that provide sprouts of all sorts in your beds. Not to mention all the weed seeds that travel by wind.
But really, in beds where you want to be free to plant and adjust, a good deep mulch is your first best defense for weed management

Today's Garden Pics of the Day: 
First, my lovely Gardenia topairy in the back yard. This is a classic "Common Gardenia" with large glossy leaves and large double blooms. This particular specimen came from the main bush in front when I found branch near the ground that had rooted. I transplanted here, then with carefully snipping, trained it into a small single stemmed topiary tree.  It's about as tall as I am, so easy to hedge. Heavy with blooms, it looks especially spectacular this year!

Next, a nice shot of my front pot garden with a last Easter lily still in bloom:
(The green leaves in back are Hardy Hibiscus in the ground behind this pot)

And last, some of my garden art:
A wire shoe I spray-painted blue this year and the blue shoe-theme ceramic square behind the German Thyme.
This bed is opposite my front door and shares this bed with a hydrangea, so they look well coordinated as you approach the front door.

What's your weed maintenance plan?
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