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:
- To give the boarders a way to walk to their cars, if any, and
- To give me a way to walk to the mailbox, thereby
- 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.