It being Labor Day weekend, I have begun the fall clean up process: moving the Amaryllis collection to an indoor location, brush cutting the tennis court area, cutting back certain plants such as the thistles (whose seed heads are neatly propped up in the juniper for the birds but no longer flopping on the lawn. And otherwise beginning that sort of tidying. By the end of October all of the house lot will have been brush cut, neatly going around young trees and shrubs that look like promising seedlings in reasonable locations. I have begun cutting now because, as much as I like it, the white wood aster is getting completely out of hand. I want it in certain spots, not blanketing the entire place. By cutting it just as it begins to flower, I will set it back hard, while not cutting the things that I want to keep. Many of the things I want to keep need to run at least through August before being cut (some of the grasses and mints for example), furthermore many of the insects need to have the tall grass at least that late. Or that is the theory! Complicated.
It does however ignore the current conditions: hot and dry with no rain in the forecast for another month. Aside from one thunderstorm in early August, we have had no measurable rain since June, following a winter of no snow. It is survival of the fittest out there.