Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A New Garden

Another new garden for Tiger Gardens and I have to tell you that this new garden thing is getting tougher and tougher. I can hardly find spots to create any gardens let alone new ones but somehow I manage to carve out spots for special trees and/or shrubs I happen to bring home to the garden. Sometimes I wonder if every little lost shrub or tree sends me vibes and somehow manages to trick me into tossing it into my car to bring home because I honestly don't need another tree or shrub. This little Cornus kousa is, of course, the exception. I simply needed it; plain and simple. That plus the fact it was very cheap (less than $20 for a five foot plus tree) absolutely convinced me I needed a new Korean dogwood.

Stalking my garden looking for just the right spot was not leaving me in a happy way. I simply could not find the right spot that would work for both me and the small tree so I made a new garden. This garden is probably my smallest garden at just 10 feet by about 5 feet. I needed to tuck it between an existing patio and two other gardens and still had to have enough room to mow around the new garden comfortably. It took a bit of adjusting but I was able to fit in this new garden and completed it one day last week (thank goodness for gardening days!). 

Oftentimes I am asked how to make and/or create a new garden. I have found my procedure to work well and while I've shared it before it bears repeating for any new gardeners out there in cyberland. You must remove the sod prior to planting! Don't spray Roundup, cover with mulch and plant. Don't rototill all the sod then plant and mulch. No, do it right and remove the sod. Removing the sod has multiple benefits. First and foremost you have cut down about 95% of your weed competition just by removing the sod. This will save you countless hours in the future of the garden and ensure your plants get off to a good start. Secondly you can then transplant that sod to a low area or an area that is bare of sod. This ensures nothing goes to waste and everything is reused or repurposed in the garden. Thirdly, you can dig the soil up nicely and add your amendments while the garden area is bare. Double digging a garden is ideal but as I have demonstrated (and will continue to do so in future posts) in the past you do not have to double dig all gardens. I did not double dig this garden and I suspect it will do just fine. 

This new garden is called my Yellow Garden. Its focal point is the new Korean dogwood (Cornus kousa). On the east side (closest to the camera) are nine 'Domino' coreopsis (I purchased three pots at $2 per quart pot and was able to split each pot into three plants), outlining the garden are yellow monkey grass plants. On the northern side of the Korean dogwood are several yellow hostas and a 'Rainbow' leucothoe. I will post pictures of this garden as it matures. Some of my favorite posts to do are the ones where I make new gardens because I am able to really see how things have changed for these gardens over the years. Right now this garden is not much to look at but I can assure you that in one year you will not even recognize this as a new garden....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. How exciting it is to create a new garden! Oh You are so creative and talented. I'll remember your advice: You must remove the sod prior to planting. Thank you!!

  2. Creating new gardens is always fun, and this one is going to be lovely. I have no more space, and really have enough to handle these days.

    Enjoy the gardening weather.

    Happy Autumn ~ FlowerLady

  3. I haven't created a new bed in a few years now but probably need to since like you I keep bringing home bargains that need a home. ;) Look forward to seeing how your 'Yellow Garden' does over the next year. :)

  4. Tina, I have vowed to not make any more new beds but only to make the beds I have better. That does of course include stuffing trees into them! Carolyn

  5. You are so right with the sod removal Tina! When I extended the Butterfly Bush Island, I dug out the sod all around the edge. I got tired of hauling off the sod and took the easy way out and just started flipping over the sod. Once my items were planted, I added Pine Straw mulch. Well, I have been fighting the grass and weeds in the middle of the island all summer long while the edges are perfect! Cutting corners is not doing anything but making the job quicker at the moment but makes for more work in the long run...

    Cant wait to see the Garden in full Glory next summer…

  6. Inspiring, Tina! I hear a new bed calling ME now.

    I'll be watching watching next spring - and through out summer 2012 to see your yellow garden develop.

  7. Good Morning all.
    Tina that new garden is awesome. I have followed your advice & removed all sod BEFORE planting & it's great.
    At present I must just take care of what I have even tho I want more gardens.
    Will be anxious to see it next Spring.
    Have a great day all.

  8. Lol, it seems the *only* plants I'm really attracted to any more are shrubs! I do like lasagna layering for perennial beds, but not for planting shrubs, where (wo)manually removing the sod is the way to go. I know you know this, but it's important to backfill trees & shrubs with the original soil, not compost, so the roots can grow out freely, not circle around. You know, for the newbies. :)

  9. Dogwoods are gorgeous trees but they seem to do better south of Maine sadly. I shall enjoy yours vicariously.

  10. It looks great, and removing the sod is so smart! Maybe one day you'll have all gardens, and no lawn at all!

  11. I love those Kousas! What a great deal you got. I wish I had space to make a new garden, I just have to find or take out other plants now. I just planted a Leucothoe 'Rainbow' this week too!

  12. I have found it harder to plant new gardens so I slowly take out sod from around existing gardens and reform old gardens...I agree that just removing the sod is easiest and quickest...can't wait to see the new garden in bloom next year.

  13. I found that planting sunflowers on a new patch will reduce weeds. It is said that sunflower seeds inhibit other seeds to germinate.

  14. Creating a new garden is getting tougher for me, too--space is not a problem, my knees and back are:) Looking forward to seeing this in bloom next year!