The Birdbath Garden in February – What a Mess!

The Birdbath Garden in February – What a Mess!

Its that time of year, just before blossoms begin to bloom when the garden looks it’s worst. Mulch hasn’t been spread – or at least not enough, old dead growth from perennials hasn’t been cleared away, and in general things look like a mess. But that’s OK! You have to start somewhere right? Every garden has it’s low point and I think we’re now starting to rise again.

These daffodils seem to think so:

The daffodils are very close to the bird bath which unfortunately is in great need of repair. A soldering iron and a new coat of stain (for the wood) would work wonders. 
The garden as a whole will fill in nicely – eventually. I seem to expand it a little bit each year and this past fall is no different than falls in the past. I expanded the stone boarder and planted two small arborvitae in the new areas to flank a short pathway to the bench seat. The pathway needs landscape fabric and gravel of some kind before the grass gets growing. The butterfly bush needs cut back to about 18 inches tall and the redtwig dogwoods should probably be trimmed to encourage fresh growth this year. All of my red twig dogwoods came from cuttings. That ‘Powis Castle’ artemisia looks rather ragged but when the frosts are no longer in sight I’ll trim it back and let it grow. I trimmed an artemisia back early one year and it died so I don’t plan on repeating that mistake.
The irises are pushing up new blades but you can still see the old ones hanging around. Many people trim them into fan shapes after they have bloomed but I just leave them alone. Most of the time they get covered up by other foliage and you hardly even know the irises are there.

Last year was the first year my Burkwood viburnum bloomed and I loved its scent! I can already see this year’s blooms beginning to appear.

Is your garden a mess like mine?


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. I've been slowly cleaning my garden up. A big job for anyone this time of the year. I have a friend who cuts back and cleans her whole garden in the fall. It looks so good this time of the year and I always admire it, but just won't do it with mine. Looks to be a nice weekend so have fun.

  2. A mess? I can't even FIND my garden under the many feet-deep drifts of snow…I did just go out and add water to the heated birdbath, which the birds LOVE–why I didn't buy one sooner, I don't know.

  3. Yes, it's a mess and I can't get to most of it. With rain and more snow coming it will be too wet to even walk on.


  4. Tina – my excuse is that I like to leave the foliage on to protect the plants 😉 It does help though but sure puts a lot of work on the front end of this year's garden – I need to mulch very soon!

    Jodi – I"m sorry you guys can see the soil! It won't be too long for you will it?

    Eileen – I hope you all don't get too much snow and begin to see the warmer temperatures we're enjoying right now.

  5. I've been cleaning up my winter mess for a couple of weeks now. I was told the other day to get the dead iris blades out of the iris bed because of iris borers? I cleaned them out but still don't know what the heck that old gardener was talking about…there is something to be said for the wisdom of the older gardeners though.

  6. I cleaned some of mine, the veggie ones at least. The rest is to be done. I think old growth helps the plants during winter.

  7. It's always darkest just before dawn~ My garden looks especially messy right now. I am way tired of the browns and ready for more greens and yellows and pinks and whites! Come on Spring. gail

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