A Glorious Day

Yesterday was a glorious day.

After weeks of unpleasant weather and a gray morning, the sun came out, my spirits lifted, and I received a shot of energy to get out into the garden. I spent a good two hours cleaning up the last two beds in my back garden. Dead leaves and debris were removed, weeds (bless their little hearts!) pulled, ‘Anthony Waterer’ spireas  trimmed, several heucheras and my one heucherella cleaned, and the two ‘Midnight Marvel’ hibiscus cut down.

I gave the liriope in the beds a haircut, at least that which the rabbits had not already done for me. I still have more to trim along the side and front foundation beds, but it’s now down to a manageable chore. I think I can get that task completed before the liriope begins to put up its new growth. Perhaps I can persuade my grandson to give me a hand.

The Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ suffered a good deal of frost damage, so I cut it back to healthy stems. This is the first winter I have had ‘Blackbird’ in my garden, so I’m eager to see how it will come back.


Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’

The other euphorbia, ‘Ascot Rainbow,’ appears untouched, and I am pleased to note a number of new shoots originating at the base. There are three ‘Ascot Rainbows’ in the garden now, and all have weathered the winter without visible damage. It should be obvious that I do like their foliage as a contrast among the many greens in the garden.




Muhlenbergia capillaris Muhly grass


The toughest job was cutting back the muhly grass, tough because of the stoop labor required. The ones at the edge of the borders were not difficult at all, but trimming the two in the interior was awkward. I was quite careful where my feet were planted so as to avoid mashing the bulbs and other plants in the area. It led to some strained positions. There’s a lesson there about placing plants in a border without thinking about the full year long requirements for care.

I pruned the ‘Henryii’ clematis back to new buds that were showing. Three other clematis did not do so well last year, so I cut them back almost to the ground to see if that will rejuvenate them to put out new growth from the base. I did see several new shoots starting to come up already.

I am pleased with the way the Carex ‘Evergold’ and the heucheras have come through the winter. It is particularly pleasing to see the heucheras doing well. They do not like wet feet, and I was anticipating losing a number of them because of the heavy rainfall we have experienced over the winter.

col 1

Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ and Heuchera dolce ‘Beaujolais’

I finished the day tired…but happy. My Arranger and I shared a cup of tea on the screened porch. It was the first time this year we were able to sit comfortably on the porch; the thermometer there read 71F…and that is in the shade! I would like to give myself a pat on the back for a good day’s effort….but I would really prefer a rejuvenated lower back

It was indeed a glorious day.


About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in Stallings, NC with his wife, in close proximity to six of his eight grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Gardening and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to A Glorious Day

  1. Cathy says:

    Isn’t it a good feeling to be outdoors again! 71° is hot! I also managed a couple of hours last week, but it was too cold again today despite sunshine. Still, a slow start to the season is perhaps easier on the muscles!


  2. johnvic8 says:

    Thanks, Cathy. I continue to be told to take it slow.


  3. Spring clean up is always a joy, but also a trial for our back muscles.


    • johnvic8 says:

      I’ve been working over the past few years to trade out “stoop labor” plants and replacing them with ones less labor intensive. It’s meant more shrubs and fewer perennials, but it means I get in a few more years of wonderful gardening.


  4. Annette says:

    I’m also delighted about seeing the sun again. A few things suffered in the cold spell, most of all my variegated euphorbia. My toughest job was cutting Miscanthus sinensis back! Oh dear, Muhlenbergia seems a holiday compared to that 😉


  5. Cathy Testa says:

    Enjoyed reading your post about going out to do some clean up – and also felt envious that you have the temperatures to get started. It was another snowy event for us in Connecticut, starting with snow last night, and I was getting a little of those winter blues, but this cheered me up cause I know spring will arrive here eventually. FYI, Love Euphorbias! Cathy T


  6. Spring…..the season of discovery! Cleaning up the beds and rooting around to see what is emerging after a long winter, what delight! And isn’t it wonderful to be out tidying up after a season of being ( mostly) indoors. Still a bit longer to wait for us here, but I certainly enjoy hearing about others who are getting into their gardens and sharing their words and pictures. Thank you!


Replies welcome...really!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.