Sunday, July 3, 2011

War of the beds

I have two beds to talk about this week. The first is my hammock.  It was a Christmas present from my brother-in-law Gary a number of years ago, and I usually spend all possible minutes in my first week off school reading in that hammock.  The second is the new bed we put in during the rain storm last week, which requires lots of digging, watering, transplanting etc.  I am sure you can see the set up for this conflict. Luckily I have found that doing a bit of work in one bed followed by laying in the other is actually a delightful combination.

It was rain that got me started digging up more of the front yard, but it was actually Mike's surprise completion of the bed that readied it for planting.  We got almost all of the sod dug as a family, and then Mike finished the rest, added compost and turned the bed using a pitchfork so it was ready to plant.

I started by adding mature foundational plants transplanted from other beds. My first plant was a day lily. Almost all lilies transplant well, so they are a great place to start.  Because my bed are viewable from all sides and I want to walk through them on rocks, I plant large anchor plants in each of the main zones of a bed - in this case the two half circles and bottom point of my heart shaped bed.  I add one large focal point plant in the center, and then build rocks around my large plants.
My last step is to add ground covers. In this case I used three types of ground covers (two types of sedum and some golden moneywart) that were perennials from other beds and I filled in with some annual flowers for added colour. I spent about $6o on flowers for the bed from by spending money, but I was really happy with the result. I have two tomatoes and 5 vines hidden among my various flowers. I added new perennials including a yellow daisy and two roses, one yellow prairie rose and one orange rose called Mordant Sunrise.

Last year I lost all my tea roses to a viscous thaw and frost cycle that also killed a bunch of my strawberries, so I wanted to add a few roses to my collection again. This is one of the few tea roses I have had that really is hardy to zone three, so I am excited to have it back with me.

Today I rose from my hammock to get Mike to take some pictures of the yard and so I could finish a mini rock wall that prevents the hundreds of thousands of dutch elm seeds produced by my neighbour's tree from blowing into the bed and sprouting. The end flower bed was definitely worth getting out of my hammock bed for.

1 comment:

  1. Nice bed. Your yard now seems to be more bed than lawn. Keep up the good work!

    It's kinda strange how your new bed looks so much larger in the first picture than in the second. Must be the camera lens. I should try to photograph my own work with that make-it-look-big lens.