Mulching The Canna Bed, Etc.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. Today was a good day to start mulching the Maple leaves in the “other yard” (across the driveway) and cut down the Cannas.

I had planned to go to the Farmer’s Co-op to pick up a friend’s feed for his cows since he was out of town. Someone else comes to feed his cows and would be at his house at 3:30. After that, I was scheduled to meet with someone else at 4. The plan was to work on the leaves and the Canna bed between picking up the feed and before and after my other appointment. Well, it didn’t happen that way…

When I went to pick up the feed at 1:00 I was told to come back at 4. His feed gets mixed and put in a hopper on the back of his truck and they were to busy when I went. SO, I went back home and called him and explained what had happened. He then texted the other guy so he would know the feed would be late. Then I called the other person I was supposed to meet with at 4 and told him we could go ahead with our meeting ahead of time. But, he and his wife had to go somewhere else first and he said he would just come over when they were finished. He didn’t make it until after 3 and stayed until I had to go back to Farmer’s Co-op. Then, when I get there, they told me they still weren’t ready and would be at least another 30 minutes. So, I went to my friend’s farm and met up with the guy who was there to feed his cows. When he was finished with some of the feeding he told me he would go get the feed himself because he needed to tell them he needed more for tomorrow. I don’t know how he will do that since they apparently don’t mix feed on Saturday.

Anyway, while I was waiting, I decided to go ahead and start on the leaves.

I usually run over the leaves and suck them up in the mower’s grass bags. That always proves frustrating because the tube keeps getting clogged. Then I have to turn off the mower, take the tube off, and shake out the leaves. I have tried different things to prevent that but it still happens. Last fall, on the south side of the house, I just ran over the leaves and blew them toward the south bed where I ultimately wanted them. It worked much better with no frustration. So, this time I ran around the leaves in “the other yard” in a circle blowing them toward the center. I know that means some of the leaves get chopped up over and over, but the whole point is to get them mulched. So, it worked out pretty good.

After a while, the mower started having some difficulty because the leaves were getting too deep. The bigger mower would have probably handled it fine, but one of the belt pulleys broke the last time I mowed. Good thing it was the last mowing of the season…

The goal was to get the leaves mulched and into somewhat of a pile so I could put them in the trash can and take them to the Canna bed.

 

It’s amazing how plants that were 10′ or so tall a few weeks ago could look so pitiful now. After a few “F’s”, two snows, wind, and very cold temps they look like a disaster.

After I finished mulching the leaves I started cutting down the Cannas. Remember, there used to only be 10-12′ of Cannas along the garage but I spread them out the entire length this past spring. After cutting down about 1/3 I decided I needed to stop and cover them up before my company came and I couldn’t finish. I didn’t want the rhizomes exposed to the cold air with nothing. I will try and work more on them Saturday, but I am not sure how much time I will have. We are supposed to have a “wintry mix” move in Saturday evening… 😦

 

There are plenty of leaves from the Maples trees on the south side of the house. Their leaves are 99% on the ground. Dad said these were Jefferson Maples…

 

The two Maple trees in front of the house are a different story. These are the last to change color and they hang on longer. Dad said these two trees are Sunset Masples…

 

The northeast corner bed doesn’t look so amazing now… Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ still has some dull green…

 

The Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ doesn’t seem to mind the snow. It’s not the snow that kills plants (well… I guess that depends on the plants and how cold it gets, huh?). When it gets really cold, there won’t be a trace of this Creeping Jenny. Then, like a miracle, they start popping up off and on in the spring to check the temperature. It’s kind of funny actually…

 

The Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) can take pretty cold temperatures. There have been winters they have remained green the whole time. Still growing after about 35 years.

 

The Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) I brought with me from Mississippi doesn’t mind a few “F’s”, snow, or cooler temps. Well, to a certain point… It thought last January was a bit much and I agreed…

 

Ummm… The south bed… The Salvia‘s and Elephant Garlic are pretty much all that is green. That is beside the grass and weeds… The Iris are growing again which is always a good sign.

 

OH, poor Phlomis! Every winter as soon as there is a forecast for an “F” I cover the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ with the big flower pot. The pot that is behind it as a matter of fact. I really like this plant so I am very protective of it when it comes it getting ZAPPED. This time I had other things on my mind and completely neglected this plant. I guess we know now it is fairly “F” tolerant and can withstand temps down to 12° F. Thank goodness! I now have a sticky note on the wall that says “PHLOMIS” to remind me to cover.

 

The Sempervivum ‘Killer’ seems to be enjoying the cooler temps. It flowered like crazy starting late in the summer. I had never seen a Sempervivum flower before, so it was quite a treat. The sad thing is that Semps are monocarpic which means the plants that flower will die. The good thing is there are plenty of new offsets.

 

Yep, I always laugh when I look at the Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla). Not because it is a funny plant, but because it always looks different from one time to the next. It always smiles at me but I dare not give it a hug and you can definitely forget about a kiss! It always asks me if its name has changed and I always tell it no. I am trying to keep it a secret that there are two subspecies of this plant and one variety (plus 12 synonyms). I do tell it that is a bit short because it is actually a succulent sub-shrub that grows 3-6′ tall. It seems to like spreading outward instead of growing upward which is one reason I always laugh. I can hardly wait until it flowers, which could take a few more years…

I stopped by the grocery store on my way home and the cashier said he heard we were supposed to have a “five-year winter.” I have no idea what that means and I am not that anxious to find out. Umm… I am not going to look it up on the internet either because I don’t want to know… Five years ago is when I moved back to the farm and we did have plenty of snow… Now my sister can say, “See the persimmon seeds were right.” GEEZ!

Well, that is it for now. The post would have been longer but I ran out of photos. 🙂

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, stay well, don’t fall down the steps, don’t burn yourself cooking, don’t stick yourself while sewing. When you get aggravated try some breathing exercises to relax. Life has its ups and downs but it is actually a miracle in itself and we are truly amazing creatures. I know eventually, our bodies get old and we may become bald, fat, and wrinkly. Some of us have worse health problems than others. We still have a lot to be thankful for even though we may not feel like it sometimes. Sometimes when we aren’t doing so good just knowing that others love and care about us makes us feel much better. Sometimes we may need a change of environment, take a vacation to get away for a while (or permanently). Maybe all we need is to take a walk with someone we are close to. Maybe we need some time to ourselves to be alone with the Universe, with God, or whoever you choose to call him (or her). I have come up with this neat little exercise that always makes me smile.

Well, I better stop for now. Take care always and GET DIRTY if you can!

6 comments on “Mulching The Canna Bed, Etc.

  1. Jim R says:

    Good advice there at the end of your post.

    We went behind the house yesterday and raked the leaves off the yard into the trees where they belong. They got dropped onto the yard by a recent windy day in the wrong direction.

    We watched and heard the neighbor across the way as he moved his leaves with a hand held leaf blower. It took him a long time and he caused a lot of noise pollution in the neighborhood.

    I do like breathing deeply, am already bald and somewhat wrinkled. But, for a 71 yr old guy, I am doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Jim! Maybe the wind thought you needed a few leaves in your yard for mulch. 🙂 A few years ago a friend used a blower on some of the leaves in my yard when I was in Mississippi. After she was finished, I had to go and rake up what she missed. Like you said, it takes a lot of time and makes a lot of noise. Glad you are doing well at 71 years young. Staying active and having a great relationship with your spouse makes a big difference as well. Eating healthy is also very important. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pixydeb says:

    Hi Rooster
    Beautiful pictures of the light through the trees – the yards (as you call them) are still very interesting to me in winter – it’s good to compare how the plants die down on opposite sides of the Atlantic! 🤣
    I see your nandina has a few berries – which is fab , how long until they get berries? Mine are red top ones & they haven’t ‘berried’ yet but only a year old
    When you talk about monocarpic plants It made me wonder if my begonia escargot is the same – it flowered a week or so ago (4 really simple but very pretty 4 petal daisy like things that looked like they were made of prawn cracker like material!) and the leaves immediately turned brown & all fell off – it was all very dramatic. 🤔 now I have a stalk! It still seems to have a bit of life – any thoughts??
    Keep sweeping those leaves – I had a pile bigger than me when I finished up yesterday- blowers/suckers are noisy monsters – I like my super wide , very quiet, plastic rake so I can hear birds, bees & squirrels approaching

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Debbie! Sad about your Begonia ‘Escargot’. I always wanted to try that cultivar. I really like Begonias and would have A LOT of them if I had the place to keep them. I am not sure what all you know about your Begonia, so forgive me if I tell you something you already know. Begonia ‘Escargot’ is actually a cultivar of Begonia rex. They are not monocarpic at all but it is possible for them to go dormant (I know because mt last Begonia rex did then it came back up in the spring). I had it in the basement at the time. Some people think Begonias need a lot of water but actually, their soil needs to dry between watering or their roots can rot. You may want to check its roots or at least make sure it is is still firm feeling at the base. Is your plant’s soil dry or damp? Begonia rex, I think, do most of their flowering in the autumn. Do you keep it inside or has it been outside for the summer? I usually take the Begonias to the basement, but they are still on the dining room table. They are dry and in low light but seem as happy as can be. The Begonia ‘Brazilian Lady’, however, is in the front bedroom… They did lose a lot of leaves in the basement last winter, but they didn’t go dormant. Oh yeah, the new Begonia is on a shelf with the succulents in the southeast corner bedroom.

      I can imagine your pile of leaves bigger than you. With so many on the trees during the summer it’s no wonder there are so many on the ground now. I like chopping the leaves with the mower first (or as many that I can) because they make a better mulch that way. A lot of the leaves don’t get chopped and just blow onto the pile. It has been cold here the past few days but next week is supposed to be nice AGAIN. Maybe I can finish cutting down the Cannas and get the rest of the bed mulched.

      Thanks for the comment and I hope your Begonia recovers.

      Like

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