Do you need an area for growing herbs and perennials? Are you tired of tucking herb plantings around and between bushes?
We have an area on the South side of our house that gets sun the entire day, except for that blazing hot sun of late afternoon. Perfect! Last summer, I decided to expand that area out from the bush bed and use the expansion for herbs, perennials, and an occasional vegetable plant.
Rather than a full-blown garden that will get chewed up by deer, this little area by the house will be protected by our Suzi-Q, who barks at the deer and keeps them away. (Oh, how I wish that were true with the armadillo!)
Here’s how I did it.
Step 1: Mark off your area. With a can of fluorescent spray paint, spray a line of paint along the edge of your new desired borders.
Step 2: Kill the grass (or weeds) in the desired area. If you have Bermuda grass or something similarly invasive, this will take time and repeated treatments. Or, you can always dig out all the grass and roots, if you’re wanting a workout.
I marked and treated my area with Round-Up last summer, long before I knew I would start this blog, so I have no pictures of the early process. This is my South side plot in early Spring this year before I began working on it again.
I worked to further prep the area, only to kill weeds this time.
Step 3: Add soil amendments and mulch. Dig in some garden soil, composted soil, or other soil amendments to break up any hard clumps. Cover with mulch to keep the ground soft and workable.
Step 4: Install hardscapes, like a pathway, edging around the garden, a low stone wall, etc. I’d planned a path of stepping-stones to meander through the garden, connecting the front porch with the back patio.
Fun Son (FS) was home for the summer and needing a job. He put his time and strength into some projects subsidized by the Bank of Dad. Young strong backs and arms are great for digging. (A little cash motivation doesn’t hurt, either.)
I marked the pathway for FS to form the wide flat trench to accommodate 8″ x 16″ stepping-stones. They’re not fancy, but they are cheap ($1.37 each at Wally World), and I like the way they look when installed.
In Georgia, I put in a double alternating row that resembled a zipper. For some reason, it made me chuckle seeing that zipper running through the yard. As if you could just unzip the earth or something.
FS formed a 22″-wide trench that was about 4″ deep. This picture shows it trenched only part of the way around the house. The hard part was digging out the hard packed grass area that was not in the soft garden dirt.
I somehow missed getting a picture after the trench was dug and the sand was leveled inside it. I really thought I took a picture of that, y’all, but I couldn’t find it after the fact. So, try to imagine nice, clean construction sand inside the trench. 😉
Do you ever do that? Do you think you did something, only later realize it must have been something you dreamed?
We filled sand to about an inch below ground level, and the stones were leveled and placed about 10″ apart. Then, we (yes, FS lost energy at this point, so it was we) shoveled the dirt and packed it around them nice and tight. After the rain settled the dirt, it was nice and smooth.
You can see a few stones stacked there for a future detour off of the pathway. (It’s still there, y’all, two months later.)
My dream is to come out each morning to water my new plantings and never get my feet wet by grass or anything. That’s a benefit of living way out here in The Land of Making Do. You can go outside in your gown or robe and no one will ever know.
Except for that time I heard the roar of a distant tractor. In my deep concentration of weed-pulling, the tractor was suddenly right behind me before I realized
I was flashing our farmer in my short gown it and dashed inside the house. Horrors!
Here is the view from the patio. The ugliness of the air conditioning units may or may not be addressed in a later project, depending upon energy levels of all involved workers, paid or unpaid.
OK, my hardscaping is complete, so on to the next step – the fun part.
Step 5: Plant perennials and herbs. Here are a few things I’ve added to my new garden spot. And, it’s only the beginning of enjoying many different plantings as I add things I like. What will you plant in your new garden?
Oh, and remember to include some vertical interest.
The half column was left over from our mantel project, and it marks the spot where the
sewer water treatment system is installed underground. It’s easy to remove for the guys with the big truck to come every 3-4 years and suck all that stuff out clean the processor. (I know – yuck!) I topped it with a slab of wood and nailed the bird house to it for decoration.
Making lemonade from lemons, y’all.
So, there you have it. A new garden and pathway in 5 steps. Do you have a desire for a perennial or herb garden?
Perhaps you already have one. I’d love for you to share about it in my comments section below.
If you have trouble finding the comments section, click the title line above, and it will take you to the specific post. Scroll down to the bottom of the post, and you’ll see the comment box there.
I know it’s confusing sometimes when you’re new at blog reading. I was new to it last year, so I understand these things. Anything I can do to make things easier, I’m willing, because y’all are worth it. I enjoy our time together!
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