I cleaned out all my flowers beds...and WOW!

sweetannie4u(midOK_z6b/7a)July 24, 2011

On Thursday and Friday and today, I cleaned out ALL my flowerbeds (well, almost all of them), and trimmed my irises into fans, and WOW! Everything looks as good as it did in the spring. I also found that watering was less of a task. It took less time and less water because only the flowers that needed the water, got the water. I yanked out all the Salvia (except my new little white ones) and cut back the plants that had grown tall and crowded everything else. I pulled out all the invasive Limelight Artemesia. I know there are a kazillion roots in the ground and it will likely come back up with a vengeance, but for now, it is gone. I pruned roses, some way back. I spread a little Black Kow compost and mulched. I "mulchy, mulch, mulched" both of the Ginger plants with the new mulch I bought. :)

After watering last night, and again today, in a much shorter time, I might add, everything perked up. This morning I saw that the newly transplanted Gardenias in the White Garden have already put on new leaves and they look like they are preparing to bloom. That is incredible! The new Sunshine rose has new bloom buds today. I moved the pot of the pink and white Guara over into the White Garden two days ago, and it has new growth at the bottom and new flowers forming. I even saw a new flower fluttering about in the breeze. Even in the pot, the Guara likes it's new home. Is that weird or what?

I kept the hens in their pen for three days while doing all this, fearing they would destroy all my work. But today I let them out to see what they would do, fearing the worst, and guess what? Without all the dead plant debris and the too many unwanted plants in the beds, the bugs, not having hiding places and rotting plants material to munch on, skedaddled, so the hens didn't scratch around. I don't think the bugs like the new mulch either.

Is it just the right phase of the moon, or did I do the right thing or what?

I'll try to post some before, during and after pictures if this dad gum computer will let me.

I am so pleased, and I have to say it, I am PROUD of myself! It was hard, hot, sweaty, itchy work, but I gotter done!

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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Yay!!! Way to go!!!! Just the inspiration I needed!!! Now all I need is some dry weather!! :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 2:50AM
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I broke two pair of flip-flops in the process. Well worth all the suffering I went through in the scorching heat, scratches, thorns and all. Tomorrow I may even have time to run to the store for more of that mulch!

Glad this has inspired you honalee.
You know - Oklahoma is much in need of rain. We ain't proud! We will take donations! :)

Good Night and Sweet Dreams.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 3:18AM
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Sounds great Annie! I'll bet the aches and pains caused by those 3 days of labor magically disappear(well almost)when you look at the results! Waiting for those pictures.....

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 5:20AM
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That's a lot of work, but as you say, you are greatly rewarded for your efforts. Love to see the photos.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 7:52AM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

And I was just thinking I didn't "feel" like gardening today. Well, after reading your post the inspiration is overflowing! What a whole lot of work. Isn't it still sooo hot for you? I give you so much credit having the gumption to get out in that heat to work so hard. Can't wait for the photos!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 8:58AM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

You on speed or something. It makes me tired just reading what you did. :>)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 9:26AM
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You inspired me too, Annie - after reading this I promptly went outside and started cleaning up, lasted a little over an hour, but it's a start, and I'm inspired! Now if I would MAKE myself get up about 5, and quit whining about the heat, I could get a lot done in a few hours a day.

We're in Day 23 of 100 or more, but early in the morning there's a little bit of breeze. How's your heat; don'cha just love it! :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 11:11AM
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I am proud of you too!!! I got busy in a section of yard and ended up weeding/pruning/deadheading/watering half my yard!!! We have such a cool temp that the mosquitos are very bad, got a million bites.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 1:27PM
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Way to go Annie,although in your heat i don't think i could do it.And how do you garden in flip flops?? I wear crocs as i can't stand the dirt to get in my shoes,sure it does get in the crocs a little,but i just pull them off and hose them and my feet down.Then again i can't stand to wear flip flops anyway,can't stand anything between my toes.I'm just funny that way i guess.LOL,LOL.

Can't wait to see pictures of your gardens again,you have so many neat plants.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 4:18PM
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Can't stand flipflops either, Kathi, for the same reason as you! I invested in some gardening blogs this spring, they're comfortable and strong, and easy to take off and on when I go in and out of the house and they stand up to digging or anything else I need to do.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 9:43PM
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Flip-flops are GROOVY!

When I am working in the yard and in my home, I want as little as possible on me in the summer. I hose my feet and legs off every few minutes. I just can't stand the dirt and debris that clings to me while working. It feels icky! It's too hot to wear shoes and wet, dirty, sweaty shoes harbor fungus and other icky stuff.

I had Crocs for a couple of years, but still had my flip-flops and my Jesus boots (suede leather Mexican sandals with Velcro straps and sturdy rubber soles). If rocks, twigs or pieces of wood get inside my shoes, it bugs the h*ll out of me. So, flip-flops are the only way to go for me for all those reasons. Now, when I need to dig deeps holes or move large plants or rocks or something heavy like that, then of course I don a sturdy pair of tennies.

I've worn flip-flops since I was three years old. We called them thongs back in the day. You couldn't get into the public pool without them, both in California and here in Oklahoma (where we lived anyway). It was required that everyone take a quick cold shower and then wade through shallow pool of bleach water, in your thongs, or no entering the pool area whatsoever! Also, ladies were required to wear a swim cap so our hair wouldn't clog the filters and drains. But of course, when guys started growing long hair, it was decided that the swim caps really weren't necessary any longer...Hmmmmm...funny how that works. (but I digressed...)

So anyway...I wear my flip-flops most of the time, even in the winter (in the house, of course). I LOVE them! If you get the really good ones that are well made, they don't rip out like the cheapy rubber or plastics do. They cost as much as a good pair of shoes though, but worth every penny. They last forever.
My kids, their spouses, and their kids all wear them. My mom, dad, sister and brothers all do too. My son-in-law's parents wear them and his brother and wife and little one.

We are a Flip-flopping family!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 12:27AM
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In fact, I just bought my youngest grandson his first pair of Flip-flops for his 1st birthday! They are Lightening McQueen flip-flops! "Vrrrooom! Vrrooom!", as he says. :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 4:00PM
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Love it. I'll bet he is so proud of them too!
I also wear flip-flops in the summer. Great for out in the yard, so easy to just hose off.

Hey....still waiting for those pictures!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 4:05PM
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Great job Annie! I'm a flip-flop gal also - shoes-wise that is! LOL Also remember we called them thongs back when.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 8:19PM
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LOL A little boy that visited our house in the 70's called flip flops "Jesus shoes." That is what they have been called by our family since then. He lives in another state now and has children of his own. I wonder what they call them.

But this post was about cleaning beds. I have done some of that recently, and have decided to dump lots of baskets and pots as well. They are just not pretty nor healthy in this 100+ heat.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 11:44PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I really want those side in flip flops to come back. We used to buy them, imported from China and they were popular in the 60's for your pool. I lived in those!
Be careful gardening in flip flops. I was pruning, dropped the pruners and they made a HUGE hole in the webbing between my toes (yes, my toes are webbed). There aren't a lot of nerves there. Cleaned it out, seemed fine...days later..not so fine. Still having trouble healing in there after a week and a half...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:34AM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Had to come back and read the comments since Annie started this thread. I am still inspired to "clean out" all my beds but it is STILL raining!! Again, I sure wish someone would move the sprinkler to where it is needed!

I garden in Crocs. In fact I live in Crocs! I have had diabetes for 40 years and had an infection in my toe last summer. The whole year was a write off with IV antibiotics and an air cast. My Crocs protect my feet and a whole lot more. Crocs make rubber boots, flip flops (thongs), slides, winter boots and clogs and even runners of some sort. Check out their website.

I'm heading out to inspect the rain damage in my Crocs!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 9:46AM
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Have gotten up early all last week and this week to get 1-2 hours in the backyard cleaning out beds, cutting iris back, etc. Big difference in just that short time! Thanks, Annie!

I write down the project for the day; if I don't, forget and kind of wander around doing this and that. Once the "project" is out of the way, then can wander around (getting old is definitely fun :)!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:28AM
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proudgm_03(6 MO)

I would love to get out and work in the garden but I just can't take this heat. Going on two weeks of heat indexes in the 100s.

I too love flip flops, sandals or bare feet. As soon as it gets a little warm - off with the shoes. Of course, I spend hours working on the calluses on my feet! When school starts and it starts getting colder I have a major adjustment back to shoes.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 3:58PM
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Love all your comments! Thanks everyone. Glad I helped in some way. I wasn't trying to push you into doing it; just more of my "Annie tells all" crap.

Love you guys.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 4:31PM
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See what you inspired Annie? I took the day off of work to work in the garden room. Got out there by 7:30 and just came in at 4 PM to make a sandwich. Got a lot done. Prune the bittersweet on the fence, both sides (it was threatening to eat the neighbors)and pruned several other bushes (late I know, but what can I say). Filled 5 bags stuffed full for the compost site and not done yet. Have cut some things back too.

It was a nice day to work in the garden, cloudy/overcast, temps were only in the mid 70's, but still humid. Couldn't have picked a better day. They have been forecasting rain all day, and so far it has gone north or south of us. I hope it can hold off for about 1 more hour and then it can rain all evening. Fingers crossed....

I thought I had best get some of this stuff done as in 1 1/2 weeks I am having cataract surgery and will be sidelined for a little while.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 5:23PM
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Best wishes to you Mary Lu in your upcoming surgery. (hugs)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 6:08PM
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Well, the rain held off. I am as done as I am going to get for today. It can rain anytime. Problem is radar doesn't show any rain coming our way!!

Thanks Annie. Not looking forward to the surgery, but am looking forward to being able to see better afterward.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 6:55PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Wow, you really hit the garden chores with a vengence. Sounds like things really look good at your place.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 11:24AM
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Well, they are tidier anyway. So many of the spring flowers had turned brown in this heat and looked just awful! Upon cleaning them out, I also removed the hiding places for insects, so was a double bonus for my efforts. :)

I had the prettiest white Baby's Breath this spring. With the deep blue Larkspurs, and the pink and orange roses, I had bouquets growing right in the flower beds. That lasted through May and into early June and then this heat hit all at once, and they croaked! (Sigh)

I'm still revamping things. Last night, I dug up my big Needlepoint Holly and moved it down into the back of the daylily bed. Everything that was or is growing up on the hill is getting moved down closer to the house where the soil is deeper and the yard is cooler. I am tired of trying to make that old dry hill bloom! There is a Fairy Rose, the Variegated Willow, some Sweet William, Mums, and other things up there yet to remove. I have moved about half of the flowers and plants already. All are doing really well since I moved them. There is a small Liquidambar styraciflua 'Sweet Gum' tree to be dug up today and potted until I can figure out where to plant her. She looks so pitiful right now. Gotta move her before she dies! She needs a lot more moisture and that was just such a fool's errand to think that I could make it work up there. You live and learn.
I lost the clump of Tennessee River Birch and two of the South Carolina Red Maples that I ordered several years ago. They were so pretty and growing really well. The River Birches died last winter and the dad gum drought and heat got two of the Red Maples.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 12:48PM
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Thanks for inspiring me to get out in the garden too. We are used to 100+ heat here but this is the coolest summer we have had in years. Only hit triple digits a couple of times. I am sorry for the rest of you-that triple digits can make you feel housebound if you dont get out first thing in the morning. Wet rag on the back of your neck helps and just running water over inside of wrists and back of knees bring temp down fast. Thanks again Annie-I am headed back outdoors. :)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 10:51AM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

I have yet to try it, but a friend puts crushed ice in a pillowcase and hangs that around her neck.

I am not going out in this. It's called survival of the fittest! I do go out between 6 and 8 a.m.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:32PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

When I was 7 ish we spent a week in OK. I just remember never having experienced such heat.

Daddy worked for a company that built fruit & vegetable machinery. Some where there, they were having problems with a machine and we stayed there until he could get it resolved.

Must have been OK city, as that was the first time I saw a building taller than 2 stories.
I grew up in Pharr, TX, which is almost the end of the line before you cross into Mexico.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 9:03PM
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