WHAT NOT TO DO:
Wendy asked if I worried about the trash build-up on the surface of the bed…
My answer: It’s in an open area. The flowering plants leave the most behind so I cut off the dead top growth before winter. The fruit tree leaves will hopefully blow away in the wind.
Some flowers shed a lot of seed and you have to avoid those, as I’ve learned the hard way, or the area gets choked with them. The best are tuber type like Iris’ or Lilies. The places I planted, up to about 6 years ago, are still not too hard to clean. A few minutes in each bed, 3 times a summer, keeps it nice. I put a plant that I don’t have a name for in a plot and the seeds ‘burst’ far and wide. I quickly trashed it the following year. Years later I keep trying to pick every single sprout out from within the rocks and it never seems to end! It wasn’t even a pretty plant. I put up with the Red Lightning (Scarlet Cross) because I love it, but I try to cut the seed pods off as soon as the blooms are done.
…and does the landscape material control quack grass…?
The heavy commercial material I used for cover has completely smothered the quack which actually surprises me. But where there’s an inch of air around a transplant it will try to overtake the ground in that spot. It’s good to either kill it initially or not use soil with it in it in the first place.
The rock garden to the left was made more like a hill – peaked and higher at one end with the other end sloping down slower and widening out. You see it here from the lower and wider side.When I planted these Iris’ I thought that I’d picked just the early and totally purple variety. At first I was disappointed to find some tubers of another later variety (purple and white) were mixed with them. Later I realized it was a great thing because that patch blooms twice. Too many types would spoil the site though unless it is a small garden in a small yard. With a large garden on an acreage you need a lot of color in a big planting or it will get missed by the eye.The Iris’ turn an appealing burnt orangy-brown in the fall and so I don’t remove that foliage until spring. The lovely spears jutting up from the rocks looks exciting to me.