Then I tackled a long-delayed project to build a walkway from the sidewalk around the back of the house to the garden shed, a task complicated by the large pine tree roots in the area, the need to place most of the blocks at ground level to not dam the water flow through the yard in heavy rains, the slight angle of the shed to the sidewalk, and my low tolerance for fiddly work like leveling blocks. Progress was made, however: I placed two stones at the sidewalk edge, and a row of three to form an extended sill to the shed doorway. I need to figure out exactly how I'm going to handle the offset before going further, I think.
I then jumped to clearing the pathway I had started last year between the front yards of my house and my brother's. Which meant general liriope removal (a task involved in almost every garden cleanup in this yard), then extended into clearing part of the planting bed that's on our boundary line. It's a bed of azaleas, acuba, a couple of forsythias, and volunteer nandina, surrounding a big pine and a red oak--deep shade. My neighbor-before had been big into vinca major, and planted it all through her side of the bed. The bed was edged with liriope (liriope is the border plant in my yard, a legacy of some former owner). After several years of neglect, the bed had a mat of liriope and vinca as a ground cover, and the vinca was twining up through all the shrubs as well. Add in a little poison ivy and greenbriar, and we had quite a thicket. Last year, my brother started removing the liriope and vinca from his side. My path clearing got me started on one end, and I dug (2 weekends ago) until finding the poison ivy. (Hey, the rash is finally starting to clear up in the patch on the inside of my elbow...) This Friday I decided the big acuba that was wanting to fill the area of the path had to go, and sawed it down and poisoned the stumps. Behind that was a straggly forsythia that couldn't get enough sun to bloom, so I dug it out too. After a little more liriope removal, I'm going to plant a small azalea in the hole and hope the others will fill out now that the pushy acuba is gone.
Let's see: also planted a strip of impatiens seeds starting on my corner under the hickory, around the tree, between an azalea clump and the oakleaf hydrangeas, up to the old rotting stump beside the rhododendrons. I'm hoping these will do OK this year, and then reseed in subsequent years--I may need to buy a couple of flats of plants to help them out this year.
I moved a few clumps of wild ginger to start a row beside the stepping stones in the front yard. The more I look, the more ginger clumps I see popping up. I'm going to try and create several clusters of these in places where I don't have other sorts of perennials--nothing like free plants that clearly want to grow here! If only I thought the liriope was as attractive...