An exhausting morning in the garden here, but a productive one. Got some astilbe and joe pye weed in the ground in the neglected damp shade bed. Then…weeding.

Our neighbors across the way are dreadfully nice people and have a lovely yard, and they came over and helped us identify a lot of weeds. Pin oak and black oak and white oak–our yard is an oak medley!–all of which had to come out. But once we ripped out the choking oak thicket around the mailbox, we uncovered an indeterminate tall (but cultivated!) plant, more pineapple sage, a thicket of Shasta daisies, and even some mums. There’s a full sun hole there now that may need to be filled–I’m thinkin’ maybe yarrow, since I only have one little one.

They didn’t know what Mystery Plant #1 was, either, but suggested we leave it for now in since a few of them look like they’re starting to flower, which will make identification a lot easier.

There’s also a gayfeather that I didn’t plant, but recognized because it’s identical to the ones I DID plant, and even more daylilies popping up all over the place–they’ve been hiding in the lirope. (I hate that crap, and it’s all over. Since nobody tended it for a year, it looks terrible.) In the back yard, cannas are unrolling down at the bottom, and our thicket of mystery plants is–good lord–a gigantic stand of Rose of Sharon! It forms a giant hedge at the bottom of the yard. While listed as mildly invasive, I am loathe to pull it out–hummingbirds love it, it’s gorgeous when it blooms, and it’s literally forming a wall at the bottom of the yard, and giving us a lot of privacy–and according to the Piedmont Natural History site, if it’s pruned in autumn before the seed pods mature, that’ll control its invasive tendencies.

I am not willing to make this acccomodation for the silktree, since I spent a chunk of this morning ripping the little bastards up from the front yard. We investigated the base of the big silktree more closely, and discovered that the last owners DID try to control it–there’s a monstrous stump buried in the lirope, and the thicket we appeared to have is actually made entirely of suckers off the stump. We’re not getting that stump out without a Clydesdale, so we’re just going to have to cut it back yearly, I suppose, until it gives up and dies.

Our neighbors gave us some starts of a cool shrub they have–a “flying dragon” dwarf orange. It’s got wickedly hooked thorns all over, and is contorted like a walking stick. I love it. (Non-invasive. Apparently too surly to spread.) I’ll pop one in a pot, and the other may go under the big trees up front, where it can get a lot of sun and be as surly as it wants.

Also, I saw a baby bunny this morning. It was maybe a quarter the size of the big cottontail that hangs out in the yard. It saw me and scooted its little cottony butt under the potting shed, where it appears they have a burrow. Awwww!

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