Friday, June 20, 2014

Garden Project 2014

We only have a small space between our home and my neighbor's so it's very shaded and the grass was patchy.  When we mowed, it was very noisy and kicked up lots of dust.  My son would always cut through this area instead of taking the driveway on the other side of the house so it got me to thinking about stepping stones...then a full fledged shade garden.

I guess my first step was asking my neighbor Diana if it was ok with her if I landscaped the area because a small strip was her property. ( I promised to maintain the area!)  Then we killed the grass last fall and had her lawn man leave all the shredded leaves there.  Early this spring I put down cardboard and newspapers for my weed barrier, then topped with the  leaves then very rich compost and a whole skid of topsoil.  You want to give young plants a good healthy start and the soil was so hard and compacted the tiny roots wouldn't have had a chance.

Leaf mulch and topsoil- early spring
My next step was laying the brick walkway.  We've had a pile of bricks for a few years now and I always try to use what we have so that became the path.

 I only bought a few plants (above) sweet woodriff as a ground cover and spring flowering plant, and a couple variegated hostas.  The rest I got from my yard and a few bleeding hearts from my mom.
I scattered seeds last fall from my favorite early bloomer
Lenten Rose and dug lots of tiny starts.  It will take a few
years to get to this point but that's half the fun.

Along my neighbors home I used hosta's and ostrich ferns and for some color
a few columbine plants.  On our side I used the Lenten Roses, and bleeding hearts.
From the front
Its best to start with less and let them naturalize so it will take a few years to really get the full effect that I envisioned.  Now I need to fill in the cracks of the bricks with sand, keep the weeds in check and will add some small mulch (like buckwheat hulls) then sit back and watch it grow!