But pretty comes with a price and is labor intensive, so there are always projects to work on. My iris beds became too crowded and then got infested with a root borer pest.
So they all have to be dug out, the dirt replaced, and the rhizomes rinsed with heavily cloroxed water. I didn't think the main bed was all that big but a couple of hours work over the weekend still only got it partly emptied out.
I've got to decide if I want to put an iris bed in the front yard - I'll have plenty of roots to start a new one with. It would have to be a raised bed because the area it would go into involves a very large rock just under the surface. I tried to dig around it once and never did find the outer edges. I'm thinking of getting the adjustable raised bed brackets and laying out a single level hexagonal bed with boards, then using that as my pattern and building around it with retaining wall blocks.
Unfortunately, I had to relocate some occupants of the bed before I started. I hope he's happy over in the brushy area.
This guy, a five lined skink, didn't need encouragement to relocate into the rocks. The one I found moved too fast for me to get my own picture of him so I had to steal this pic from the web. But I did notice at one point that he was peering over the edge of a rock at me as I dug.
And I really need to fix the peony bed.
They bloomed beautifully this year but I planted it too far back, and one of the problems caused by the bed's location is the lack of proper air circulation. This in turn has caused them to develop powdery mildew.
Unfortunately, it's close to impossible to get rid of the problem, so I'll probably just get rid of these plants and start new. Hate doing that. Hate the idea of digging another bed in our clayey, rocky excuse for soil, too, but I don't want this bed to be a raised one. On the upside, powdery mildew is plant specific so I don't have to worry about it spreading to neighboring plantings.
Funny. When I first moved here, I fought for about 3 years to get a lawn established and then fought, with many hours on my hands and knees, to make it 99.9999% weed free. Now I'm doing everything I can to replace the grass I fought for with trees and flowers, even though I don't mind mowing. I just can't seem to help myself - I look at a spot and I think "What can I do to make that more interesting that the deer won't eat?" And the next thing I know I'm digging away.