Sunday, December 13, 2015

What to Cut Down

It has warmed up in these shortest days of December and we've had temperatures near 60. Unreal.

I got the big asters and the nepeta cut back last week. I leave a lot of things standing in winter, but those get smushed when snow comes so they need to be cleaned up.

I'll leave the 'Karl Foerster' grass standing. It's at the edge of the meadow behind the berm, and when snow comes it will just lie down with the other tall things out there.

Meanwhile, I can't even think of taking it down. Early morning light illuminates it so dramatically.

I liked the look of this feather reed grass edging the line between meadow and lawn so much that I planted a couple other clumps along the boundary of the lawn, and those light up later in the day, just as beautifully. I'll leave those standing too.

We did get the miscanthus grass by the garage door cut down. It too is beautiful right now, but snow and ice will destroy it and cause it to flop in front of the garage door, so it has to go.

It's a job, but Jim dispatched it pretty easily this year with the hedge trimmer. I used scissors to cut the Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa) along the walkway, and pruners to get at the amsonias.

The trio of 'Northwind' panicums remains standing. They also suffer from winter smushing, but they are at the back of the garden, in front of the meadow and I think I'll leave them up.

I have regretted that in past years when they looked so bad in heavy snow, so I'm not sure why I think this time will be better. Maybe because right now there is something vaguely biblical about these three standing vigil out there just before Christmastime.

I cut the 'Henryi' clematis at the front walk all the way back. But should I take down the viticella clematis 'Alba Luxurians' on the tower beside the patio wall? It's still green in December, and it makes a nice pairing with the bronze sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina).

I cut this clematis back in midsummer and it regrew vigorously all the way to the top of the pyramid by fall. But unlike other years when I chopped it down in midsummer after flowering had gone by, it didn't rebloom very much.

All the pots are removed from the patio now, some in the garage, others on the unheated porch, where it's above 60 degrees due to this warm spell.

What else needs cutting down?

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