The Garden Project (Part 2)
Posted by Gail | Filed under Gail Pleasures
Because my little experiment with the thyme worked so well, I decided to repeat my success (hopefully) in the backyard. I bought myself two big pots of a groundcover I particularly like. The two pots cost me $9.99 each – I certainly couldn’t thoil using this groundcover if I had to buy it all. But if I grow it myself, well then I could have what I wanted at a fraction of the price.
I dug out an area in the backyard about 1 x 3 feet, lasagna-ed it, and split the one big pot of the groundcover into 4 (using a sharp knife to cut through the plant evenly). Then I planted in this new, experimental bed. I had another spot in the backyard under some shade that I used to plant the second pot, also cut into four pieces. My plan is to grow enough of this groundcover to be able to use it all over the backyard when the time comes for its renovation. By trying the groundcover in full sun and in shade, I’ll see how it grows in both environments.
Planning ahead to save some money on plants make sense so that I can use more of the money I’m saving monthly in my Garden Account to buy the things that really cost big bucks: flagstone, the materials and labour to redo the deck,
I have a couple of different experiments going on in the backyard right now besides the groundcover. I have a row of bushes growing against the fence that I’m not overly fond of. They bloom beautifully in the spring and then are so damn boring I can’t stand it. So I came up with the idea of planting clematis below the bushes to grow up into the bushes and provide some colour. Last year I bought 5 inexpensive clematis ($5.99/ea) and planted them. Then I took some groundcover I had in a bed and planted around the clematis’ feet because they like their roots to stay cool.
So far things are going as planned. The ground cover has spread beautifully and I have a lovely mound (some of which I’m going to split up and plant up front to cut down on my weeding. And all the clematis survived the winter and have now started winding their way through the bushes. Fingers crossed for solid growth and loads of blooms in a couple of years.
When Foster did the front yard, there was a bit of topsoil (triple-mix) left over, so I had those hard working boys (Foster now has two crews… look at his biz grow!) take it around to the backyard and dump it on… you guessed it… a mess of newspapers!
That Monday morning with a mountain of dirt in the yard and threats of a thunderstorm, I was outside by 4:30 a.m. (with the mosquitoes) shoveling the dirt to where I wanted it to be. While Foster was off using his discount as a landscaper to buy me my plants (yes, he passed the discount on to me, lovely boy), I had him pick me up some lupines for the backyard. I planted those in the new bed to see how they do. (Y’know, he paid $5 a piece for those, and I subsequently saw them retail – I’ll admit, at a pretty expensive place – for $15 a pot.)
What’s next? Patience. Lots of watering. A decision about whether to use just groundcover plants or to also mulch. Hours and hours and hours of joy as I watch the plans come together and learn from my experiments.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and my garden won’t be finished in one summer. I wouldn’t want that. I like the anticipation of watching it evolve. And I love experimenting.