Susan’s Garden—I’m ridiculously pleased when plants reseed themselves in unexpected places. Gravel pathways are the easiest way to propagate plantswithout lifting a finger. I’ve found tiny cedar trees, physocarpus, butterfly bushes, geraniums, coneflowers, penstemon, and columbine all in less than three feet of pathway. If I pull them up early enough, I’ll get the whole root system very easily. Ajuga’Chocolate Chip’, phlox, and thyme can be pulled up in sheets and transplanted around the garden.
I’ve been spraying my columbine with systemic insect spray to kill the little green caterpillar that strips the leaves off leaving just stems and buds. You have to spray every plant including the seedlings, or else they’ll be stripped overnight. If you have aphids on your birch trees, consider using a systemic soak.
Its easy to see dead stems on shrubs like hydrangea now that the leaves have started, so just prune off the tips or prune lightly to shape. Every few years, spirea and barberry can use a hard prune. It will rejuvenate them and allow you to remove the dead