Digging In

Insight into garden design, photography and growing life.

September 30, 2009


Big steps were made in the last two days. All (almost all, seems you can never really get rid of creeping grass) of the Bermuda grass was dug out of the flower beds in both the front and back yesterday. This alone took two landscapers a full day.

Today, barrier edging was installed installed in both sets of beds. Two different kinds of composite edging were laid. These are great, not because they are made out of recycled plastic, but because they have rounded edges, which won't cut little feet or doggy paws. And the best part is the edging fronting the flowers beds in the back yard is 5 inches tall. That means it should be much more effective in stopping the nasty grass that runs UNDER and OVER the edging. Regular metal edging, in brown to match the fence and mulch, was installed at the backside of the fence, to keep the neighbor's grass at bay. I saved money this way, hoping that the dog will not trample on edging directly on/under the fenceline.

Then came the soil amendments. I spread 75 bags of compost (which could easily have been double the amount if I had the budget to do so), 20 bags of cow manure, 10 bags of peat humus, 6 bags of expanded shale (pricey stuff), 10 lbs. of green sand and half a bag of organic slow-release fertilizer granuals. The landscapers tilled the compost, manure and humus into the existing compacted soil. I sprinkled the fertilizer, green sand and shale in by hand during planting.

Finally, planting! Eight trees went in the backyard. Hooray! Three 30 gallon 'Nachez' crepe myrtles were planted along the back fence, bordering the alley. Three 15 gallon 'Teddy Bear' magnolias set the anchors for the pathway along the sideyard. I tucked a 15 gallon 'Possum Haw' (deciduous) holly in between a couple of the magnolias along the shared fence. Saving the best for last, I placed the beautiful 45 gallon 'Mexican' redbud as a specimen tree on the southern fenceline, in direct line of sight of the opening of the back (driveway) gate, which will be relocated at a later date.

Now we have to fix the sprinklers. Only one line was cut for planting, but we have to convert many other sprinkler heads to soaker hoses. Also, we cannot add mulch soon enough, will will be bought in bulk. The dog already had black paws this afternoon. But he told me he loves having trees to run around again. Or he was happy to poop. Either way, he's happy. And the boy loved "helping" plant the garden. There are little muddy shoes and paw prints at the back door.

Pictures to come soon.