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Summer Has Arrived in Minnesota

Astilbe and Red Bridge

Seems like every year I have to hire help to remove the Minnesota invasive plants off our acre of land – buckthorn and the garlic mustard plant.

At first it appeared that the garlic mustard was almost under control but unfortunately our neighbors don’t clear theirs so one side of our property is more heavily infested than the others.  Unfortunately Roundup will be the only way to kill them.  It’s a lot of back breaking work to get every single plant removed.

Fortunately the buckthorn is under control this year so that has left time to work on the landscaping closer to the house.

Although we’ve removed approximately 85 trees (both large and small) our property is still fairly shaded so getting plants that have color can be a challenge.

This year though I’m quite pleased with how things are turning out so far ~ mainly because the deer haven’t eaten anything yet.  HAHAHAHA

The front yard caused minimal work with the exceptions of pulling a bunch of maple seedlings that had grown 2-3 inches and adding 15 bags of bark.

The large leafed aster really surprised me and had spread out so much that I had to cut it back. Fortunately this is one plant that the deer don’t find tasty.

Front Yard Landscaping

I could have planted more impatiens but last year the deer ate them all and I didn’t want to invest more money on feeding them.

Front Yard Side View Landscaping

The astilbe both in the front and the back yards are so beautiful.  I had planted some along the driveway but those haven’t done as well – hmmm, perhaps because they don’t get sun?

White Astilbe

This magenta astilbe always makes me feel happy.  Something about this shade of color gives me a sense of peace.

Magenta Astilbe

Last year I laid down a bunch of black weed control tarp that looked awful but we weren’t sure what we wanted to do so I left it that way all summer.  This year I did some landscaping in the area and added bark.  It came out looking pretty good and once the plants grow it should look great. Two new plants I added are peonies and yellow day lillies.  This portion of the yard gets afternoon sun so we’ll see how they fare.

Small Backyard Landscaping

Most of the backyard is covered with hostas that I divide in autumn and replant elsewhere in the backyard.  Unfortunately deer love to eat hostas so we spray Deer Repellant on them after every rainfall.  One missed spray and the deer know they have found a new feeding ground.

Every year, a friend and I spend many hours weeding in the backyard and this year I became a little wiser.  Rather than having to re-weed later in the summer I picked up a large container of weed deterrent called Preen.  Once the weeds are pulled, Preen is spread over the area you don’t want weeds to grow in then it is watered in.  So far, this has worked in preventing the weeds from returning.  This does give me more bare spots but I’m hoping to add decorations in some spots along with replanting hostas in those areas.

Backyard Hostas

Lastly, the red bridge in the front of the house has brought me much comfort.  I put it together from a kit and stained and painted it myself.  Every 3 years or so I bring it in and re-sand and re-stain it.  The paint has held up well over the last almost 8 years.

Astilbe and Red Bridge

It’s the end of June and I’m hoping that the deer continue to stay away from our yard.  When we have visitors, they love to see them but when I see deer I think of how they’ll eat my plants and of how they bring ticks onto the property.  These are animals who should be appreciated from afar.

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