Recently I must have had sucker tattooed on my forehead because just when I thought my summer gardening season was winding down into a nice relaxed not hard labor kind of fall a friend baited me into a conversation about their landscaping and the outcome was I ended up helping them redesign a garden. Some where along the line the topic shifted from trucking in new dirt to build up the flower beds and improving the soil quality to pathways, accents and decorations. Dirt I’m certain when it arrives will involve a little bit of my own effort and sweat.
The good news is that the area was already was being used as a garden space. She had a beautiful collection of withering plants, a robust and abundant weed collection, and mulch that hadn’t been topped or refreshed since dinosaurs roamed the earth.
After talking for a while about hearty plants since my friend claimed to be cursed with brown thumb rather than a green one. We quickly determined some of the problems with the existing space. The plantings were random, some of which “were itchy” and well she had a busy life and while their family enjoyed the beauty of a garden they weren’t they type that wanted to do a lot to keep it up.
Now in all fairness I have a few flowerbeds that I let run their natural course outside the use of fresh mulch every spring, fertilizer or bone meal twice a year and on occasion during a long hot summer dry spell a few drops of water.
So the determination was hearty resilient plants would be in order and we settled on a mix of decorative grasses for the back drop. After all they’d only need looked at once a year at most to cut down the previous years growth. With the border and sides lined with Moon bean Coreopsis to add a touch of yellow with the flower’s daisy like playfulness . Leaving about a 5 ft wide patch down the length of the garden.
So after a bit more debate we decided that a flag stone walking path fit her style after all stones don’t need much maintenance and additional stones would be used in sections of the flower beds giving her a solid surface to place planters and urns filled will annuals. As a matter of fact they could be changed to fit the season. A bright and early spring mix that could be added to the compost heap as they wilted and turned to straw. OK who am I kidding pulled out and dumped in some out of site spot but the same effect in short they plats will break down. Then refresh the soil in the planters and a hearty summer mix. By this time next year what ever color Mums strike her fancy.
At first glance the thought is that planters are more work than jut putting the flowers in the ground. After all they dry out quicker that means watering. Add to that planting three times each year. But it also adds the ability to go buy the local nursery and grab what ever is in season ensuring a spring summer and fall filled with color and scent. Planters all but eliminate the concern of what it it doesn’t grow? Forgot to water, found a way to kill it, and things aren’t going so good the answer is simple go buy another mix for a few dollars. Planters and urns can add a touch of personal style to any design from formal to casual and with the selection available today from classic to modern in design. Quality planters should last years if not a life time when cared for properly and can always be used in other area’s of the home garden or patio.
So let’s hope for clear skies and nice cool fall weather for the next week end or two because I have a feeling my calloused hands will be spreading a bit of mulch digging a little dirt, and probably lugging a ton or so of flag stones through someones yard this coming weekend. Not that I’m complaining she usually feeds me well.