Every spring my garden is littered with stands of fading foliage that suffocate the surrounding plants. Slumped with fatigue, the long green straps lounge in the branches and stems of their commrades, too tired to move, too weak to care. Neighboring plants, flush with a fresh start, jostle and posture against the declining daffodils, their stems growing sideways, their necks giraffe-long as they stretch towards the sun. By summer when the dried brown daffodil leaves pull easily from the earth, my garden is Seussian in appearance. Stems designed to be straight and tall bend and curve instead, while other plants simply give up and die, crushed by sodden, heavy foliage.
But this year, I decided, would be different.
Daffodils grow in a clump of tradescantia and daylillies next to my balloon flower. Most of the foliage is disguised by the tradescantia and daylillies, but the foliage closest to the balloon flowers had covered them to the point that they were struggling to grow between the leaves.
To get the foliage off the balloon flowers, I bundled up the leaves and pinned them to the ground using big anchor pins. These are also called landscaping pins and look like giant staples. I found them locally in small packs but they were ridiculously overpriced. I bought a box of 500 online for $40. I also use them to hold my soaker hoses in place.
Dalea pupurea, or prairie clover, grows between pink knautia and a big clump of daffodils. The dalea has thin stems that couldn't push aside the daffodil leaves. After I pinned the daffs and pinched back the dalea, it began to thicken up, although it's difficult to tell in these photos.
Green bamboo markers remind me of where I planted the dalea. This helped me avoid accidentally grabbing the wrong foliage when I was bundling and pinning the daffs.
Using twine to shaped the foliage into little cornstalks also works, but it takes longer than using pins. Plus, I think it looks goofy, especially when it's not disguised by other plants.