Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Mega Garden

Two gardens are now joined as one. Should we have some kind of ceremony for the occasion? Well, that's just silly. But it is nice to look out and see a coherent garden, at least the beginnings of one, rather than a circle and a square plopped in the middle of some field grass. Circle plus square equals MEGA GARDEN. Well, ok, maybe not MEGA but a large-ish garden for sure.


As you drive up the main road you see this view. The sunflowers make me happy.


To recap last week: The rock retaining wall around the fire pit was not completed. 


This week, I finished the rock wall then happily added compost. It helps to add contrast and define areas, besides just being a great amendment for just about any kind of soil.


 Although a couple of ornamental grasses are tucked in, I needed to think about what to plant en masse.



 After much reading and back and forth I decided on Muhlenbergia rigens or deer grass. Why deer grass? It's a West Coast native, it can be evergreen, it tolerates a wide range of conditions and at 3 - 5 feet high/wide, it will fill in nicely without being too large. Many people have told me how attractive it is, something that is important to me. I also want to plant Carex comens 'Green' or 'Frosty Curls' in front as a smaller grass spilling over the rocks. I have one planted so far, so will be on the hunt for several more. I have many in the garden already and really like this grass and as the goal is to have flow and multiples, it's my accent grass of choice.


The look will be many medium-sized warm-weather grasses, mostly evergreen, in one big mass. Another reason I chose the grasses I did is because they are fire resistant, something to consider when planting close to a fire pit.



 
I searched a few nurseries for the deer grass but ultimately found some at Joy Creek Nursery where I work, but not that many. I think that the 10 or so I purchased will likely be adequate to fill in this area over time.


 To get some perspective I had to revisit a few photos from last month. The circle in this one represents where the fire pit would go. The grass in the background had been cut by the sod cutter but not removed.


 What a difference a few weeks of hard labor . ..


Here's a different perspective.

 This is after I finished the wall and added compost.


 Here you can see the deer grass installed. 


 This overview of the two gardens illustrates their separateness.


Here you can see paths laid out and the transition areas starting to fill in. I also sowed my wildflower seeds this week in those and a few other areas. We'll have to check back on their progress, as I have no idea what to expect. It's a big experiment, really. 


 Now for something completely different. The sunflowers are so fun.


David's chicken cube is nearly complete. This week he worked on the fence and gate. It's coming along nicely! Pretty soon we'll be searching for a few hens.


The view the other evening was quite dramatic. Sunflowers all facing southeast.


 A final look back at our new fire pit area and freshly painted deck. The railings are painted and complete, now we need to tackle the floor areas. One step at a time. As for the fire pit, we still have to polish it up with flagstones and a bench, but for now we're happy just as it is. Whew! Slow and steady, that's our mantra.

A quick post this week as we have not been focused on much else as of late. I promise more diversity in the future. For now, thank you for reading and of course, happy gardening! 



28 comments :

  1. Your hard work is paying off. It looks fantastic. I want to look up the deer grass. I want to add some grasses but not sure what kind yet.

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    1. Hi Phillip! Your gavel paths look great! You have also been busy. As for grasses, personally I adore them. Scott from Rhone St. Gardens is the go-to gardener for grass questions, he knows a lot. Actually many garden bloggers do. I love them, but admit I am no expert. I rely on the kindness of other gardeners!

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  2. Looking good from every angle. I see what you mean about the green of the chicken cube. A little tweaking in almost any direction and it would be better. Negotiating such things is an art, but you can do it.

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    1. Yes, isn't that some shade of green? Some marriage battles are better left alone. I think I might be able to paint some kind of chicken mural....that would help!

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  3. This is just amazing, muscle-aching progress! Such a quick transformation. The last photo really shows how it's all pulled together already.

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    1. I thought so too. I walk around now and cannot recognize the old layout any longer, a good thing. We're finally at the point where it is coming together. Whew!

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  4. Can't wait to see the plants grow up a bit. The end-of-summer photos should be great!

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    1. Yes, I agree - once those grasses fill in a little, I think it will be the look I'm after. We'll of course keep you posted with photos.

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  5. I've been following your progress and I have to admit, it's been hard to really see your vision, but these photos show it starting to take shape finally. It looks glorious!

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    1. I've been thinking about your comment a lot Alison and I realize that it's difficult, even with photos, to illustrate what crazy scheme rattles around in my noodle. I appreciate your hanging on with me, I hope it will turn out something like I envision in the end. If not, then - well, nature is a wonderful teacher and provider so it will all be fine somehow.

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    2. Yes, it WILL all be fine. My front garden does not look that much like I envisioned it, but I still love it. I trust your abilities even more than mine, so I know you'll get it much closer to your vision.

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  6. Wow!!! You guys are amazing, lots of work and lots of progress. Looks so good. How are you doing on the inside?

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    1. The inside of the house? Well, we have our furniture which is great - it was used for staging in the old house. We got tired of waiting for the house to sell so went and got it. It's looking good! The former home is still for sale, for some nutty reason, though. Once it sells I think we'll splurge on a new couch.

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  7. Glad to hear of your progress and what a big difference you guys are making so far!

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    1. Yay! It's all we do, really. Not much of a social life this summer! That's ok, there's always next year, right? :)

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  8. "Slow and steady, that's our mantra"....steady yes, slow? No, not even close.

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    1. OK, slow...in my head we're slow but I see your point. Obsessed is perhaps more appropriate??

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  9. Looks amazing - can't wait to see it in the future!

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    1. I can't wait for you to see it in the future! You guys are always welcome!




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  10. I love how the rock-lined bed wraps around the fire pit. Really, your garden gets better and better every week! If I wasn't already struggling to manage half an acre under drought conditions, it'd have me wanting more land.

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    1. Sometimes I wish that's all I had, Kris. Drought, though, is a tough one. Gardening under those conditions would make me a little crazy. Kudos to you, yours is an amazing garden.

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  11. I love the gravel pathways and firepit area. Everything is so defined and tidy. My garden is so sloppy, with lawn bordering most of the beds and only me trying to keep up with edging. My parents think it's ok to cut through the edge of the beds to "edge", which just makes the beds smaller every time they mow. *breathe* Anyway, I have tons of Carex comans. How much do you want?

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    1. Yours is sloppy? I reject that statement! Your photos always look amazing. Well, someday you'll have your own space to do exactly as you please, right? And I'll take whatever Carex comans you have - I'm looking for 20 - 30. Let's talk!

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  12. Hello Gardening Wonder Woman! How big are your biceps with all that rock and dirt movement. You are a machine. I love the layered approach with curving lines. Oh, what a place of tranquility this is!

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    1. Oh, you are too kind, Birthday Woman! I DO have muscles I never saw before. Make no mistake, David is much of the muscle in this operation. He's my Superman! Come and enjoy the tranquility any time!

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  13. OMG it looks so gorgeous. Wow. You really have such a good spacial sense for landscaping composition!

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    1. Fifi! You are too sweet! Come over and we'll have a big pagan fire!

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  14. Wow!!! you are working hard!!! and it is looking great!!! I can´t wait to see the garden mature. And you have so much space!! it is soooo nice :). I really love it. And I like sunflowers a lot. I tried to have some but goats passing by ate them, hehehe.

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