Monday, June 17, 2013

I made you a cedar chip wasteland

I have officially spent two weekends putting out a lot of effort to make a pathway, a pretty simple one at that. Apologies for how many crappy phone pics there are here, I was chugging along and couldn't be bothered to do anything beyond grabbing my phone out of my back pocket.

After we removed the sod along the driveway I needed to dig down a bit so it could hold the cedar chips I wanted here. I was hoping to soften up the ground before I had to dig, so I thought about how to make it rain. A ha, I thought, I'll put out yard debris bags! You know the bags--the ones that get heavy so easily and turn to mush and break if it rains even a little? We put four of those, filled with sod removal scraps, out on the street and of course the heavens opened up. But it made digging easier.


I found buried stuff because I always find buried stuff.


The oil tank that we knew was here.


A pretty large cavity, probably from a critter long ago (I hope long ago).


I was like, how can I make sure I move this soil as many times as humanly possible? I know, I'll dig it up, transport it to a tarp under the dogwood, then transport it back to the driveway and into Greg's truck so it can go to the soil recycling place. My back was not amused.



I used thinner, taller pieces of the same rock I've used to edge the beds elsewhere in the garden. I just wanted a simple line to say "chips here, mulch there."









It looks goofy now because the chips are bright orange. I have a skosh more room (just like Levis) in the beds, so I need to rearrange things a bit. It helps that a few weeks back I removed six or seven of the rose bushes here. All the rain had really softened the ground and they popped out with almost no effort. I got a little carried away and started removing them left and right.

Before

Before

Now I just need something low-growing and drought-tolerant to weave through and unify everything.

Now

The best part is that cedar chips break down and feed the soil, so when a future owner inevitably plants lawn here, they'll find the soil to be rich and loamy. Circle of life and all that.

I finished up by vacuuming the driveway. If that's wrong, I don't want to be right.

12 comments:

  1. I hope you are having a garden open , so we can see all the results of this hard work.

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  2. My garden is nowhere good enough to have an open yet. It's pretty unremarkable, aside from "Wow, this used to be lawn." Scott and I were just talking about how much we loved your garden.

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  3. Meryl Rose PhillipsJune 17, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Seriously, why are there always so many weird things to discover? EVERY time we dig it's amazing the things we uncover

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  4. Seriously, how are you being such a good blogger when you have a newborn?!? As always, you are making the rest of us look bad. :P

    I also found some very old batteries, a pen, marbles, a bouncy ball, and broken glass. I shudder to think what's under the main lawn in the backyard!

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  5. Chips here, mulch there, stone to edge it all -- you have defined the basic elements of good garden design. I am constantly amazed at your design instincts, which are so right for the small spaces you're dealing with. I like the look and practicality of the strip, and with the fussy roses and flowers gone, it's clean and simple and great.


    Maybe groundcover sedums for drought tolerant low growers weaving around the area?

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  6. Thank you so much, Laurrie! It means a lot coming from you.

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  7. It looks great...so much less cluttered! You have reminded me that if I ever do put in a gravel path along the back of the north border, I seriously need to edge it with stone...it makes all the difference! How low of a groundcover do you want? If you wanted something a little different, give Origanum vulgare 'Aureum' a try...it's super vigorous, just a bit taller...but looks so nice and full and fluffy all the time. It's mostly evergreen, I just cut off the "burnt" pieces in spring and it looks great :-)

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  8. Ooh, I think that might be perfect! You rock.

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  9. Jane / MulchMaidJune 18, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    So clean. So neat. So perfect! It was worth vacuuming the driveway - although I would probably have laughed if I'd driven by and seen you ;-)

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  10. Thanks, Jane! And you would have every right to laugh at me. It was silly (but fun!).

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  11. Looks naturally beautiful! autoglasschip.com

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