Wednesday, August 1, 2012
A Garden By The Road
It has been more than one year since we started a new garden next to the road. Our existing gardens exceed our ability to adequately care for them so the question " Why more?" looms over the project. We really need to do this one right. Grass clippings were piled deeply here to kill pasture weeds that tend to persist no matter what. Rotting for a year seems to have eliminated the weeds. Bark mulch has replaced the grass clippings and we are ready to begin planting. Siberian iris and Clara Curtis chrysanthemums will be moved next to the wall.
Our land came with very little road frontage. We only own from the fence line in the weeds to the far edge of the stone wall. Our only use of this area was in and out of the driveway. Only a small area adjacent to the road was mowed so that we could see if it was clear to pull out onto the road. The new owners of the farmhouse took pride in their home and kept their acres mowed. Their tidy area next to our wild mess prompted them to ask about a fence. I promised to clean up my mess and to replace it with a short stone wall and a long garden. The wall is in place although I have talked about making it longer. The garden is beginning to take shape.
Autumn Joy sedums alternated with Blue Flag continue the line of the stone wall. Both of these plants are tenacious. They will be able to cope with pasture grass's incursions into their area. This spring I harvested two sedums from the garden at the house. Both were sliced in half with a Bowie knife. The four new plants found their present location and were placed with the flat side facing in. That proved unnecessary as the sedums quickly restored their round shape. As fast as new land can be made ready, the sedums can be redivided. Blue Flag will also produce more plant material than I can use. These two plants will soon grow together forming a continuous wall of green. That should look better than any fence.
Starting a new garden is exciting. Here the soil is deep and fine relatively free of stones. Its ability to retain moisture carried the plants through the drought. Working here will be quite different from tilling the gravel that underlays the main garden. We received some overnight rain. This could be a perfect time to move plants to their new home.