Before the weather got cold and rainy, a few of us did some end-of-the-year chores to get the meadow in shape before leaving it to its own devices in the winter. With the help of some actual manpower, courtesy of Rafael, we (he) removed some serious sticker bushes (that’s the botanical name, LOL) and hacked out what we call ‘Monster Grass’. Again. This must be the third or fourth time we have tried to remove this grass, but it always reappears. It looks like corn plants when it’s mature and the deer clearly don’t like it. In the cleared patches, we planted two dozen Monarda in a spot near Georgetown Pike, and at least that many asters that we liberated from the over-dense perennial bed across the sidewalk. We put the asters on the slope closest to the building. Judging from their performance in the perennial garden, these lovely lavender flowers should establish a strong colony in no time and maybe, just maybe, choke out any Monster Grass that tries to reappear. We also sprinkled some mulch around the newly-planted flowers in the hope that it would deter weeds from sprouting up until the new plants get established.