In the Weeds

Happy August, everyone! With drought and, more recently, crazy storms moving behind us it is time to reassess the situation in the backyard. We have an open house coming up on August 12 also, so we want to make sure things look spiffy for all those nosy neighbors house shoppers to come lookin’. Right beside our back deck, we have a garden bed which at some time prior to our ownership was built into the slope against the house.

This year we didn’t plant anything here– besides the hostas and random mystery plants that already live there– and recently the weeds that moved in instead got away from me. The piles you see are where I pulled weeds in little spurts over the weekend and then let them kind of dry out in a clump so I could toss them in the woods behind our house later (am I even allowed to do that?). And in case you were wondering how helpful Ollie is with yardwork, she is quite involved. She makes sure all woodland creatures stay up in the trees where they belong so as not to interfere with the work.

So, last night I finally spent a good hour or two finally getting this bed clean so I can decide what is best to do with it in terms of moving/planting things. First, I removed the woody stems from the hostas that held blooms earlier in the season. I just pulled straight up and most of them popped right out, or I just easily snapped them off close to the base. The one in the foreground of this picture I just finished and you can see how much tidier it looks compared to the hosta behind it- ack!

Much better…

For the rest of this area, I just gloved up and got pulling. I used a garden rake to loosen up any roots that were stuck in clay, but most pulled up fairly well since our soil is (finally!) a bit moist. I did my best to get the roots so they won’t keep coming back, but atleast with thoroughly cleaned up now, keeping up with a few here and there will be a much easier task. I like to pull weeds as much as possible and avoid weed killer, but we do use Round Up sometimes too in certain places. We need to do some trimming around the perimeter of this bed, which Chad will do at his next mowing. You can see that the hostas kind of fill up the left half of the bed and the right half is just small plants and a big bare patch. Strangely enough, tulips come up in that big bare patch in the spring. But only like 4-6 tulips, so it’s a little random?

After removing all the grassy weeds, I was left with these mystery plants which have always been there— I just have no idea what they are. Again, not much of a gardener yet at this point in my homemaking career. Maybe Cheryl, Chad’s mom, knows— she is really into gardening and has beautiful beds all throughout their yard! I just don’t know if this is nice ground cover I should keep/get more of, or if I should just ditch it…

Here’s the mystery plants on the deck end of the garden. They don’t really do anything spectacular, but I’m not really sure if I should keep/move them or ditch them…

So just to remind you and save you the extra index finger workout to scroll all the way back up… when I came home from work last night, the garden was looking like this.

And now we have a clean slate to work with like this! I also added some leftover potting soil to even things out after scraping up the surface of the existing soil. Then I watered to help clean some of the debris off of the hostas and soak in the potting soil I added.

My main goal for this garden is to spiff it up for showing the house without spending a lot of dough. But I’d like to balance out the overall look in terms of height, color and ground cover. I’m thinking we could move the mystery plants hanging out on the right side to the foreground, bring in a hosta from another part of the yard (we have a lot of hostas and Mom really wants some of them too!) to fill in the right half off the bed and finish it all off with some inexpensive flowers from Home Depot.

For some Pinspiration, I pinned this photo of hostas mixed with grasses and ferns. That could be a nice combo!

Here’s another nice example of hostas and ferns…

So, does anyone know anything about the mystery plants we have? Or have some tips for filling in and evening out this space? So nice to be getting back outside in the yard!

7 thoughts on “In the Weeds

  1. Hi Lindsey. Looking good. I think your mystery plants are astilbe and ajuga. The ajuga should spread and have flowers in the spring. My astilbe didn’t bloom this year but as I recall it blooms sometime in late spring or early summer. There’s also a miniature hosta in there with the purple leaf ajuga. Happy gardening!

      • Well, I think it’s a hosta. It might be one of those miniature varieties or maybe just a baby? 🙂 I thought you were wanting to know about the ajuga and astilbe. Silly me. Anyway, I really enjoy your blog!

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