Big Garden Project


Out with the old, in with the new!
The big flower gardens all around the front porch and to the side of the studio looked really nice when I got here. Roses and butterfly bushes and daffodils, irises, and so on. Lovely! The previous owners were members of a garden club and did garden tours.

This is how the front gardens ended up after putting up with me for three years. Oh, how the flowers missed the previous owners! Alas, these gardens just weren’t for me. Sometimes, no matter how beautiful something may be, it’s just not a fit for your lifestyle. I knew the gardens had to be re-made for me. And everything was kinda dead anyway.
Certain individuals are responsible for the death of the roses.
And mainly–
But let’s not name any names.

Especially since I’m pretty sure I’m also responsible for this mess in the studio garden.
I’ve enjoyed the weeds and wildflowers, picking them for arrangements in the house, for the past few years, and the goats have certainly enjoyed the roses. But. It’s time to do something about this wreckage.

First, I got the goats contained in new fencing in a new field.

Then I got some help. Because this is going to be a big project.
I decided the best way for me to be able to maintain the front gardens was to minimize them. They’re way too big for me to manage. The gardens are framed with rocks, so I had the rocks dug up and moved. The garden areas to the sides of the porch were taken out completely–I’ll just be mowing there now. The front areas were pushed back a few feet.
Now I have much smaller gardens to manage.
For now, the weeds were just trimmed down, and I’ll start fresh with my reduced flower gardens in the spring.

The large garden to the side of the studio can’t be reduced, so it needed a different plan.
Everything was either trimmed down or pulled out to start, and next plastic will be going down and then box containers built and installed. Rock will be put down over the plastic. This will reduce my weeding problem here. And I will have a place to grow vegetables next spring!
This is all still in-progress, but should be completed in the next week or so. I’ll update with more photos then. I’m actually, finally, looking forward to gardening here next year!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on August 20, 2014  

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12 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 8-20

    :happyflower: :happyflower:
    I can relate to a certain exten :happyflower: . When we built our home we decided to make the property as maintaince free as possible, no flower beds, or trees, well that didnt last long, my Hubby dug e flower bed for me on my birthday and it began from there, flowers and shrubs and trees of all sorts abound on the property. I have learned the fine art of using weed killer to maintain some areas. We are having one area turned back to grass this fall, and maybe more in the Spring. I say that now, but come Spring??
    I think your plans sound lovely and you should end up with a very attractive landscape, provided you can keep the 4 legged weedeaters contained.
    I love the old hand plow.

  2. 8-20

    Out with the old is good…except for that wonderful, old cultivator! Keep it for yard art, at least! We just finished restoring my late father’s old cultivator, vintage 1930’s. Sanded the wooden handles and finished with linseed oil, sanded and painted the wheel and hardware with Rustoleum’s hammered copper. Going to paint the attachments a hunter green. It will then have a place of honor in our vegetable garden among the corn, beans and tomatoes!

  3. 8-20

    Oh yes, that’s staying. That’s mine, actually. It wasn’t here from the previous owners. It’s my garden decoration.

  4. 8-20

    And the cat says:”WHAT? What have you done with all my butterfly,lizard,and bug toys? That just makes me mad,so now I’m going to have to start bringing you all the mice I can find!!!”

  5. 8-20

    I think you are either a gardener or not with very little inbetween. I’ve seen my gardening neighbors go into the garden everyday. Doing weeding, digging up and moving stuff. EVERY SINGLE DAY, sometimes more. They seem HAPPY to be doing it! GEEZ, to me that is a chore and a tedious one too.

    They say that they love it and miss doing it if for some reason (a driving rain) they can’t. Something about relaxing, communing with nature, enjoying the plants and fresh air. :bugeyed: Not me. A chore. I do love the vegs I get, the flowers that bloom but I WORK for those and do as little as I can get away with. SEE! You’re either a gardener or it is a chore to be done like laundry, sweeping, etc.

  6. 8-20

    Smart move!

  7. 8-20

    I especially love planting veggies that do double duty as pretties. Jerusalem artichokes, “sunchokes”, come to mind, and asparagus with its lovely ferns. Scarlet and painted lady runner beans. When I let my last few artchokes flower, they were the talk of the neighborhood, the prettiest and biggest thistles you’ve ever seen. I sauteed some of my daylily buds this year, and guess what! Delicious!! I think I would consider making those front beds perennial and herb gardens, since you are already planning for weed control. ( I like using weed cloth instead of plastic, but it doesn’t last forever.) Right close to the house and all. Asparagus, lavender, thyme, sage, rosemary! Herbs are beautiful, and many are self sustaining, and you use so many in your cooking and soaps. Happy future gardening!

  8. 8-21

    Sounds good except for the plastic! Consider an alternative please.

  9. 8-21

    Perhaps you might consider a bricked inlaid surface with herbs in pots on top for easier mobility and great reduction in the need for weeding. You could even start fragrant thyme between the bricks or ? flagstones.

  10. 8-25

    Hi. think twice about that plastic. Over the years the dirt/mulch builds up and you get weeds anyway. We had plastic put down when our house was built. I ended up having to pull up that hateful plastic from all around our yard. It is harder for anything to grow and the soil underneath the plastic is nasty. I use newspapers and mulch. We do not have a weed problem. Best of luck on whatever you choose. :sun:

  11. 8-27

    A thousand times yes to pugwaggin’s (and Glenda) plastic veto.

    It looks good for about a month then the mulch starts shifting, the animals start walking in it, a bad rain storm washes away the mulch, etc. and then the plastic is exposed. I swear the plastic starts moving on its own.

    We ripped it out and replaced it with landscaping fabric (it is porous) which is only marginally better.

    We then ripped out the landscaping fabric after two or three years (because weeds grew in the mulch on top of the barrier) at our house. Now the mulch is think enough not much grows.

    We kept the fabric down at our cabin because we topped it with a layer of rocks. There we need to keep a completely vegetation free border and it still takes a healthy dose of weed killer to keep those determined weeds out. (we have a snake problem…)

  12. 8-27

    ETA – I see you are thinking rocks for the plastic area, that might be better than mulch but you will still have a sliding/shifting problem if someone walks on it.

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