After completing another square metre of suckers, I moved on to release what was left of the living plants from their dead plant prisons. First up: Peonies. My Mom planted these gorgeous peonies eons ago. Big white and pink blooms. They did so well she had to cut the plant in half and transplant it over to another location. (I also later found a third peony that had seeded itself by the bird bath.) Now, there was at least 4 years of dead leaves and stems in the way. (So much so the bottom layer of debris was actually turning to dirt. Hah.) But as I carefully cut away the old remnants, there underneath were a dozen little sprigs of soon to be peony. I even found 7 chive plants (that my Mom had relentlessly tried to kill, back in the day) under the brush and dandelions. Once the peonies were unearthed and properly caged, I called it a day. (Also, as I had managed to get, and burst, a blister in the palm of my hand, I decided to take a couple days break.)
Back at it a week later and summer had apparently arrived. Everything was green and lush. And by everything I mean all the damn suckers. I spent day three pruning the double flowering prunus, digging out suckers from a silver leafed tree (that of which I don't know the name, something Russian?) and finding a random vine that was definitely never planted but seems to be growing just fine anyway.