Thursday, July 15, 2010

Garden From Scratch...A Work In Progress

And a lot of work went in even before October...
(Click picture to enlarge)
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"Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration." ~ Lou Erickson
This is only a fraction of the garden flower beds I have put in around the new sunroom, down the side of the deck and around the arch of the patio. Over 100 bags of top soil (40 lbs each), 40 bags of amended top soil (2 cu ft each), 35 bags of Nutri-Green compost (40 pounds each) and 30 bags of pea pebbles (40 lbs each). This doesn't include the soil and compost that went into the rose garden. It would have probably been easier to have the topsoil and compost delivered in bulk... but then I would have had to have tarps and covers and such and we had quite a bit of rain in the early spring as well as Nor'Ida last fall and it would have been a mess.

See my little tiller... I love my tiller... but after six hours of tilling in clay, you tend to vibrate for several hours even while sitting quietly. It is like a little humming buzz inside your muscles that just won't quit. I tilled down ten to twelve inches, tilled in the soil and compost, dug out the rocks and brick and sticks.. even a huge batch of construction concrete from the original building of the house. It was buried 12 inches deep and the edge extended under the ground beneath the new patio. I could hardly move it.. it weighed more than 50 pounds and I had to break it up to toss it out.

I built the beds up about 5 inches and put an edging down, but will probably take the edging out after getting all the plants in. It is a bit wavy and difficult to use the weed eater along the beds and the plants can hold the soil together. I thought the landscaping material was a brilliant idea and if you are planting shrubs and only a few flowers you can do well with it. But if you want lots of flowers it just gets in the way... not to mention the fact that the weeds simply grow under the fabric and do so quite vigorously. I ended up cutting out a lot of the fabric. I have placed a soaker hose around the plants and down the entire length of the beds and generously mulched.

So far we have only a few drainage problems.. hopefully to be fixed by Friday... and more plants needed. I have only lost a few, most are growing well, exceeding expectations. We have a butterfly, bird and bee garden.. which isn't the best plan if you think about it. The birds eat the butterflies and caterpillars... but seem to leave the Japanese beetles alone. It is definitely NOT formal... Stephen says it reminds him of an English garden.... but, I think it is best described as "organized chaos".

(end of post)


Ginny Hartzler said...

Oh how charming and wonderful!! I wish we had something like that! But the work you did!! You must be very fit! How on earth you tore out that concrete is beyond me. You sound like me, very determined once you want to do something. This is just a great thing to have in all the years to come.  Not just the flowers, but all the wonderful little creatures it will attract.  I hope you show us more pictures in the near future of all the sections!

Sandra said...

and a wondrous garden it is. Love the deck and I know I would like the new room also. Lots of hard work paid off for sure. Daddy had a tiller like yours and he used to MAKE me help him with it. does that comment tell you a gardener i am not?

kenju said...

No matter what you call it, it looks beautiful. I hope that Stephen appreciates all the hard work you have put in. When you are finished there, come here and start!! I'll appreciate the heck out of you!!

Beverly said...

You are a better one than I!  I know that all your hard work is paying off.  I do hope it is appreciated by all who see it.

yaffa said...

That is looking great!

Puss in Boots said...

Your garden looks beautiful and what a lot of hard work went into it.  My mum is a keen gardener, too and when she was younger, worked hard to make a beautiful garden.  Even now, at almost 91, she still gets out in the garden for 30 minutes a day and plays bowls twice a week.

You'll get a lot of enjoyment from all that beauty.  Congratulations.

Lori said...

Wish we lived closer so we could give one another a hand.  Love your little tiller also!  I put in a new bed this spring and it was hard going....dug it out with a putty knife!  How crazy is that?!

You have such a lovely piece of Heaven on Earth.  Enjoy every moment of it!

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