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Gardendote of the Day 2013-07-20

This is actually more a garden brag than a Gardendote. But here it is! This is one of my summer projects, almost complete (from w-a-a-a-y back in February when it was snowy). Here's the plan:

As you can see, the plan has four strips. The sidewalk is at the bottom, and then there is the Clover Strip, the Rock Garden Strip, a Flowering Strip*, a new path, and a second Flowering Strip.

The path is there for three purposes:

  1. To give the boarders a way to walk to their cars, if any, and
  2. To give me a way to walk to the mailbox, thereby
  3. Putting every strip but the Clover Strip in my Zone Zero**, so I will take care of the area instead of letting it turn into a weedy mess, as in past years.

Here's how it turned out:

The Clover Strip is at the bottom; the little white fence -- hat tip CaseyOR -- demarcates the the clover from the sidewalk, and shows every passerby that the arrangement is on purpose (i.e., if some section of the property looks a little ragged, it's because I haven't fucking gotten to it yet). And the path is visible if you squint a bit, just beyond the Black Eyed Susans:

I enjoy making path borders with whatever comes to hand; in this case, ex-firewood, found bricks, and marble scraps I reclaimed from an earlier project. The Black Eyed Susans would be the first Flowering Strip, but I changed the plan when I started work on the ground: There's an Herb Garden in between the Rock Garden Strip and the first Flowering Strip. Basically, right now that garden is a humongous patch of basil (top of picture) that I let bolted; the bees are going nuts. On the other side of the path is the second Flowering Strip: Corn.

In a perfect world, I'd have a lot more corn, a lot more flowers, and more sheet mulch. But the second Flowering Strip is what it is, and I've already gotten some compliments on it.

Here's the path as a whole:

The path fans out on the near side to make parking easier; it narrows at the far side because there's a stump I'm too lazy to remove (and also, for some reason, I like the idea of people entering it single file). That patch of green at bottom left is all weeds -- wildflowers could go there, if it's not too late to plant them.

* * *

So, we'll see if this works; if I find myself checking the mail and taking care of those plants, this new arrangement will be a success. And perhaps it already is: There are also two filbert trees growing in the Herb Garden strip, and I spotted some Japanese beetles on one of them, and killed them. I hope. I think of these projects as enriching the property, but perhaps the diktat of "curb appeal" would be to cover everything over with turf and then get a sprinkler system. I doubt it, actually; sustainable ag and permaculture are big up here.

NOTE * Readers suggested wildflowers in the Flower Strips, but I didn't entirely go that route.

NOTE ** A permaculture concept meaning in essence my dwelling. I define it to mean any place I would walk without going out of my way.

UPDATE I love stone dust paths, but if quack grass gets in them, ick. I'm going to have to spend a day rooting it out of one of the old paths. I'm sure there's a clever solution -- seeds lodge in the edge between path and border -- but I don't know what it is.

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gizzardboy's picture
Submitted by gizzardboy on

Flowers are OK, but growing your own food allows you to bypass at least part of the capitalist system. So if I were to brag, it would be about growing my own potatoes, tomatoes, rhubarb, summer squash, winter squash, cucumbers, peppers, sweet corn, raspberries, strawberries, onions, broccoli, kale, lettuce and swiss chard. And maybe some watermelons, if they mature in time. The flowers are just what come up or re-seed themselves.

Submitted by lambert on

Tomatos, cucumbers, zucchini, greens, beets, raspberries, peppers, cantelopes. All subject to the vagaries of critters, naturally.

But flowers are polllinators. Also, beauty brings happiness, which counts. It's a very fine thing to sit in my lawnchair and see the hummingbirds at the bee balm.

(Also, this will turn into an herb garden.)