Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Making A New Garden
If you are a gardener, as I am, you will at some point have to make a garden. I find myself all too often making gardens and like I am wont to do I usually share the news on this blog. My newest garden is in a location that has been a difficult location for me to deal with. And, even though the area is a garden in the making it may at some point become the chicken coop area. Only time will tell but in the meantime let's talk about making this particular garden.
The area is my far back corner of my backyard. It is the northwest corner of the backyard with a western exposure under a huge hickory tree and several oaks and dogwoods. The area is very inhospitable due to the immense amount of tree roots and western exposure leaving the site open to prevailing winds all summer long. I guess that could be a benefit but in the case of this area it really is not a benefit for the plants. A shed is the eastern boundary (to your right) of this area, a privacy fence is the northern (straight ahead) boundary, to the west is a barbed wire fence where cows periodically congregate under the shade trees. The area has been a pain because I had to maneuver my lawn tractor around the shed and between some other obstacles in order to cut the grass behind the shed. Grass along side of the shed did not grow due to immense shade. I figured the only way I could really deal with the area was to make a new garden so here goes.
Because the soil is full of tree roots digging and removing sod was not going to be an option. My only option was to get some cardboard (thanks Terrie!), cover all exposed soil, then add mulch on top of the soil. I call this the 'Lazy Gardener' method of making a new garden. I chose a shredded hardwood mulch bought in bulk from Mr. Mulch here in our town. Four and one half yards later the job was done and the area almost now look like a garden.
The plants are missing though. The soil here in my area of Tennessee is bone dry. Our fine heavy on the clay soils tend to turn into bricks once they are dry and baked by the sun. Digging in plants is not an option during the summer in Middle Tennessee. That is not to say I haven't done it in the past but only if I could water the ground. This particular area of my backyard will never be watered because it is simply too far away from the house and it just isn't worth it to me to water the area. I don't see it from the house and rarely work in this area. I don't know about you all but as I get further away from my house my gardens tend to be more wild. Do you all do that too?
So for the time being this Wannabe Garden will sit and wait until the rains return so it can become a Real Garden. I have plans for some more bottlebrush buckeyes, and native drought tolerant plants to go in this area. So far there are a few plants planted here. Above you can see the common witch hazel I planted about five years ago. It is not happy in our dry soils but still it survives. Behind the shed are some cast away plants such as 4 O'Clocks, crocosmia, verbena bonariensis, sunflowers, irises, and a hearts a burstin shrub. There are probably more plants back there too but it is an area I really don't manage. The weeds even sometimes get away from me but the mulch will sure help take care of that problem. One more area of this new garden is the rock wall. I had a lot of rocks left over from a load I had purchased from a local resident in town and did not know what to do with them. I asked the teenager, very forcefully I might add, to please make a rock wall around the new garden area. With much grumbling and complaining he accomplished the task. Now all I have to do with this new garden is wait for the rains so I can finally get to the fun stuff-planting a new garden....
in the garden....
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