Friday, September 11, 2009

My Sanctuary Garden - The Beginning

We moved into our house in August of 2007, and by last summer I was ready to do something in our backyard. I've designed many gardens, and I knew exactly what I wanted for this property.

First, though, I needed a little help from my favorite contractor. There were 3 huge old poplar trees that leaned over our neighbor's garage, so we had them cut down. The back hoe came in to take out the enormous stumps.

The work begins.

Roots everywhere. Ugly sheds.

I outlined the patio and garden edges with orange spray paint. Landscape cloth went down on the 16' diameter patio area, and garden mix soil was spread in the doughnut around the patio.
THEN it started to rain. And rain, and rain. Nothing but clay and mud.

The guys put the 5 'Autumn Brilliance' Serviceberry trees in for me (the root balls weighed about 600 lbs each), and dumped a load of gravel on the patio area. They placed the largest granite rocks around part of the patio perimeter, and my 3 focal point rocks. And then they had to leave. The rain continued. I tore ligaments in my ankle stumbling over the clay. Things didn't look good.

Sid and I began to lay out landscape cloth in the pathway areas and fill in with gravel. Well, mostly Sid did the work and I limped around pointing my finger.

A mess - the pathway to the patio.

Beginning to look less awful. We've delineated the pathway to the patio. I installed black edging and Sid is continuing to fill in the gravel.

I'm using spikes to hold the edging straight while I fill in soil on one side and gravel on the other. The work began in mid-June, and it's July by now.

My focal point rocks. I'm trimming the excess landscape cloth while I level the gravel. I'm actually quite good at creating level surfaces with a shovel and rake. This is extremely unfortunate, since it would be way easier to let someone else do it!

The next post will show the planted garden. There is still work to do, but we're getting there!

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