Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hiding the shed

Today I constructed and planted the new bed that will disguise our ugly shed foundation. We've been meaning to do it for months now, but I never got to it this spring as I intended; so, although August isn't really a great time to plant new shrubs (ideally I should have waited another month or so), I knew it might be now or never. Make hay when the sun shines, right?

I made a trip to Trax Farms two weeks ago (what a great place!)to pick up some other plants and ended up buying some plain old yews to put in the shed bed. I've never been a fan of yews, especially when they are pruned into meatball shapes, but these were in their lovely natural habit....unpruned, with wispy evergreen, slightly arching branches. These two were balled and burlapped and about two and a half feet tall. I also got a few variegated ornamental grasses for the bed too. As far as the plants that came in last week's shipment, I chose a dark leaved Wiegelia and a mock orange to add to my Trax finds.

I started by 'grubbing' out the existing sod and weeds - and discovered lovely soil rich in earthworms and organic matter (phew!) - so I just planted the plants, watered them in then mulched with some shredded hardwood bark. It looks great and is already doing a fine job disguising the shed. Once the plants are a bit taller it will really do the trick quite nicely.

On another note, I made an official decision to rip out all the plants in the bed by my front walk (what AM I thinking?). The hostas were deer-eaten to the nub, the black-eyed-susan vine was taking over the world (and with only a few blooms, it was too reminiscent of field bindweed to me - though normally it's a plant I like a lot), and the German bearded iris were brown and floppy and in need of a good division. So I decided to dig out the whole lot of them and start over with plants that are a bit more deer resistant. So I gave most of the Hosta to my greatful neighbor and replanted a few of them in the back garden. Some of the iris also went to the neighbor, and the black-eyed-susan vine was sent to be reincarnated as compost. I haven't a clue what I'm going to plant there this fall, but I still have plenty of time. I'm sure it will include the painted ferns and coral bells that are sitting on my driveway in pots and I did leave a bit of pink lamium there too. For now, it's just a clean slate of dark earth - it looks quite pretty to me. I don't mind some emptiness in the garden now and then...it helps me envision all the potential in the dirt.

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