Tuesday, September 15, 2015

This Week's Diary: The Step Garden, Revisited

     Steve is traveling a lot these days. When he is home, we try to pack as many chores into the days as will fit along with a balance of relaxation. One of the bigger projects that we put off for the summer while we moved my mom is the step garden...again. This will be the third makeover for those beds. Before we go and blame my compulsive nature for these numerous makeovers, let me say one word, Bermuda Grass. Oh, this is the bane of my gardening existence. I was introduced to this invasive, tough, creeping grass here in the south, never having known of its existence up north. Time and again, it invaded the step garden, intertwining its runners and shoots into the plants until there was no separating them. Finally, there was nothing to be done other than to rip the entire garden out, liberally spray Round Up, and begin anew with landscape fabric. I'm not a fan of landscape fabric, but I used it on a test area and it stopped the Bermuda Grass cold.
     I dreaded the whole chore of pulling out an entire garden and getting it weed free. The bulk of that chore was done last spring when I gave away most of the perennials. The garden sat barren for the summer while I continued to spray Round Up and test the landscape fabric. Now that we've got the new soil spread and I'm choosing plants, it's beginning to be fun again. In this makeover, I'm steering away from the tall perennials that I had before like the lavender, echinacea, yarrow, and daisies, etc. This will be a true rock garden in the sense that it will have low, ground covering plants with pockets of color here and there. I'll be relocating some of these plants, like rock geranium and sedums from another garden bed that I'm changing up. But, the most fun was driving along the back road with Steve last weekend, looking for rocks. I love field stones in the garden, especially mossy ones. We gather rocks that the road crews have excavated or that have been tossed onto banks by road grading equipment. Never, ever should old stone walls be disrupted or anyone's private land be trespassed. Most of the rocks in the photo came from our friend John's family farmland. Rock gathering is my idea of a perfect date with Steve : )
      Stay tuned for more of this week in cows and pies...but not cowpies.


  1. Oh Leonora, I love it! And I enjoy reading about your gardening efforts and plans. I wish I had the energy and determination you do, but gardens seem difficult in the Southwest - I just need to learn, no excuses. Thanks for sharing this. What a wonderful place to visit and watch grow!

  2. Would love to see finished pics of the step garden when you're done. Round up is our friend for things like that, but it freaks me out a little. My brother in law once sprayed it all over the yard at a house they were renting in DC - he thought it would just kill the weeds. :)

  3. Oh, we have had trouble with grasses too. Not much you can do but be bold with Roundup. Ironically, we grow sedum for a living ! I hope you post more pictures.