I spent the weekend with my wife cleaning up the gardens for the fall. She likes to cut back all of the perennials. She usually does this with a sharp kitchen knife. She did this year too. But when it cam to the liriope, I was able to help by running the lawnmower over it. I just set it up to the high setting (actually the setting I usually use for the grass), check for rocks and stuff in the garden and make a slow pass over the liriope.
She wanted to cut back a large rose-of-Sharon. My son fired up the chain saw and we cut away about two-thirds of that. It tripled the size of the burn pile.
Some of the late blooming and perpetually blooming flowers she saves. While there are not many bees still active, they find and utilize available blossoms. Pineapple sage, blue daze (evolvulus), Mexican heather.
Gone are the lantana, grape, wisteria, morning glory, cleome (beeweed), most of the petunias and numerous other varieties that I do not know the names.
The clean-up process is made more enjoyable by the mints in the gardens. There is fresh mint, spearmint, peppermint, and lemon balm. Also there is lots of rosemary. And of course there is cat mint (catnip).
When she cleaned up the catnip, all of the cats that were around got hunkered down in it.
Always enjoyable when outside are the songs of the birds, seen (chickadee, cardinal, and jay) and unseen (starling, woodpecker).
When you are turning over and cutting back you find lots of things that hide most of the time. A large leopard frog, a very large brown toad, and a centipede were seen. Also numerous squirrels, spiders, and insects.
The fire ants have not been killed yet in the front yard. With the rains, they must be being flooded out. I have put down Amdro 3 times but it has rained afterward and it does not seem to be effective yet. Usually, it works after just a couple of days. This is going on two weeks.
I took down the skyride as the traveller had become cracked. My wife will try to get a replacement. In the meantime, I took down the cable. I will turn it end-for-end in hopes of avoiding cracking the new traveller. It also will give the trees a break. When I had originally set up the cable, I had put it around two trees. To keep the cable out of the bark (and killing the tree), I put spacers under the cable in 3 spots. While they were growing into the bark a bit, they were relatively narrow and did not seem to cause any harm.
My son and I went to Lowes and got 24 bags of pine bark mini-nuggets noting that he had just vacuumed my station wagon yesterday.
Transporting all that was cut down to the back of the lot caused a lot of wear and tear on my tender new grass so at the end of the day, I ran the sprinkler on all of the warn portions in hopes of reviving it. It seems to look better.