When to Start Your Spring Clean-Up

When to Start Your Spring Clean-Up

Back in the Fall I wrote a post about NOT doing Fall clean-up. There are lots of reasons, not least is to leave some seed-heads for the birds. Well, it’s mid-February, and the birds have eaten all the available seeds, and now there’s a good reason to start your pre-Spring clean-up. On a nice dry day, preferably.

Pre-Spring clean-up isn’t about making the garden look tidy (at least not for me–I’ve never been interested in a”tidy” garden), it’s about finding what you forgot you had planted, or seeing the amazing late winter life “spring” into action.

Perfectly good looking Helleborus leaves, but...

Perfectly good looking Helleborus leaves, but…

Hiding flower buds.

Hiding flower buds, only visible if I cut away the old foliage.DSCN2482 2

Asters still looking somewhat architectural, but...

Asters still looking somewhat architectural, but…

...Hiding these tiny yellow crocuses.

…hiding these tiny yellow crocuses. So the asters come down, and benefit the compost heap.

Euphorbia looking the worse for wear after the freeze of early Feb…

Euphorbia looking the worse for wear after the freeze of early Feb…

And more crocuses visible after cutting down some of the Euphorbia. You

And more crocuses visible after cutting down some of the Euphorbia. (I’d rather see the new crocuses than the tatty euphorbia, which will grow back in the spring.) You can see the white “milky” sap of the euphorbia on all the cut stems. Your skin might be sensitive to this.

This is the detritus of summer alyssum, which I left not only for the birds, but also for the garden--I need alyssum to self seed to provide habitat for beneficial insects. But it's truly not beautiful.

This is the detritus of summer alyssum, which I left not only for the birds, but also for the garden–I need alyssum to self seed to provide habitat for beneficial insects. And because I adore the scent of alyssum–can never have too much of it. But this is truly not beautiful.

And who remembered--daffodils sprouting up!

And who remembered–daffodils sprouting up! I don’t get a lot of multiplication of my daffs, so I’m always surprised when I see them return–fewer and fewer each year.

So now really is the time to do some garden clean-up. What might YOU find…?

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