Wednesday, May 21, 2008

True confessions of my past garden ruthlessness

When we first began converting our front lawn into a front-yard garden, we were, admittedly, ruthless (to the transplants) because we were SO focused on killing the grass (organically) and planting just a very few extremely hardy and drought-tolerant things instead.

When I say ruthless—some might say sadistic--I mean that I would plant some poor thing at noon in mid-August in crummy soil, water it for a few days and, if it didn’t ultimately survive, I crossed it off my “acceptable” list. Then we got some professional advice, after 5 years.

Jackie of seed garden design helped us pull things together and taught us that we couldn’t just KILL the grass; we had to REPLACE it with something. We had originally thought we could get away with replacing the dead grass with a ton of mulch or even just patches of bare dirt. She also showed us, among other things, how to add some richer topsoil along with our mulch.

So until recently, we didn’t feel we even had the LUXURY of paying much attention to the overall picture and art of things, a concept I now think should always be somewhat dynamic anyway. We still struggle with extracting nutgrass every week, but we’re finally feeling a little freer to play around with the whole design of our front-yard garden. And we’ve still managed to not own a lawnmower.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Below are some basic gardening tips to get you started on creating your dream garden

Gardening Tip 1. Consider your plants health as well as your own. Ensure you keep yourself well hydrated whilst gardening. As most gardening is done in the sun, involves physical labour and is very engrossing, it is easy to work away for hours on end without noticing the time flying by. Keep drinking lots of fluids and make sure you are wearing adequate sun cream and a hat. Your garden will only suffer if you are in bed for a few days with dehydration or sun stroke. Remember, skin cancer is still one of the top killers so dress appropriately.

Gardening Tip 2. Design your garden before you start digging. Your time and energy is precious so don’t start digging holes and planting plants without having a garden design first. You may choose to employ a professional garden design or you may just want to draw your desired garden on a piece of paper yourself, depending on your budget. Either way if you have a plan of what you are doing and what you want to plant where, you will save yourself many back breaking hours digging and planting unnecessarily.

Gardening Tip 3. Make a list of the tools and materials you will need. After creating your garden design, list the tools and materials that are required to create your masterpiece. You may need specialist equipment like heavy earth moving machinery that needs to be hired and booked in advance or you may wish to plant exotic plants that need to be ordered and grown specially. You don’t want to get half way through your project only to find you cannot get a piece of equipment on hire for 2 weeks. When this happens it is very frustrating and can sometimes hold up the entire job.