Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What was I thinking?


My front yard looks so DUMB right now.


I'm trying to slowly smother the lawn under my dogwood, in increasing small sections, hoping not to stress out a very old tree. I'd probably be better off using a deep layer of wood chips but I thought that would look weird. So instead I used two smallish cardboard boxes and some yard debris bags to go underneath a layer of compost in this strange pattern. Doesn't that look so much better than a layer of wood chips?

I don't know what I was thinking. I wish I could use a sod cutter but the dogwood roots are just too shallow for it.

That strange half-circle of compost is where a previous owner had put down a circle of bricks to better show off the sewer cleanout that sits in the middle of our lawn. It was planted with daffodils. We removed the bricks and I kept rolling my ankle so I filled it with compost.

In this newly smothered area (from here on out know as "the meadow") I'd like to plant a huge swath of Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition', a grass that I saw at Wind Dancer and I'm still kicking myself for not purchasing.

Image source: High Country Gardens

The good news is that High Country Gardens was purchased by American Meadows so their wonderful stock is still available to us in the event that I can't find this grass locally.

Also in this area (somewhere  . . . ) I'm going to put this baby.

This is a Cistus 'Elma', one of the plants Maurice talked about at the Yard Garden and Patio show. It's evergreen with beautiful red stems and sticky leaves that emit a wonderful fragrance when the sun warms them. So even when it's not covered in beautiful white flowers it still smells good.

Image source: Joy Creek Nursery

It's also drought tolerant and incredibly hardy. And it was $8.50. I'm so excited about this guy.

The bigger picture for this area includes continuing this pathway that goes behind the agave berm . . .

. . . through the meadow, where it will spread out to accommodate a bench or a large boulder or some sort of sitting device under the tree. And the path will continue to the backyard, so you can theoretically do one large loop through both the front and back yards.

The meadow will be expanded with more grasses and drought-tolerant perennials. I want to build up a small hedgerow to the right of the dogwood tree to create a little privacy for the seating area. By the house smaller shrubs and perennials will go in. Behold, my MS Paint skills!

So I have a plan but my neighbors probably can't tell. My hope is that everyone is so distracted by my neighbor's strange burial mounds that they don't even notice my crappy smothering attempts.

I don't know why.


  1. Bunny aka Nikki @ 86'n ItMarch 12, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    Wow, those burial mounds are bizarre! Color me distracted!

  2. I think you would be more than safe to spray the grass with roundup to kill it, then add your mulch/compost over it. I use roundup all the time around the edges of my gardens and in them too. Just make sure the wind is not blowing.

  3. The tree roots from the dogwood run shallowly all over this area, so I can't use Roundup without potentially killing the tree.

  4. Just be glad you didn't try to smother the grass with newspaper. I did that, and had shreds of newspaper blowing around my garden for months. The Bouteloua is gorgeous.

  5. Ugh, I've totally done that! I swear the neighborhood cats make it there mission to dig up as much as possible.

  6. I think you should stop home and garden blogging and start MS Paint blogging. Your true calling.

  7. So few gardens look great this time of year, don't fret...especially since you're still working on it! I SO wish I'd grabbed some Bouteloua last fall when they were on sale at Portland Nursery :-(

  8. I think those next door mounds look like a Maya Lin installation.
    All doubters will be mollified as your garden takes shape...and quickly, if your past activities are any indication.
    Don't we all have 'Blonde Ambition' ambitions?