Some people make new garden beds by marking the edge, tilling the garden and putting in the shrubs and plants. My way is a little more casual.
When we moved into this house last summer the only flowerbed was little one that was covered with four inches of pink granitic chips, not to mention weeds. While I was dealing with that and building up the shrubs at the back of the bed I was also planning some new Square Foot gardens for veggies.
I was in the hardware store buying wood for the vegetable garden when I saw some red and yellow twigged dogwoods (Cornus stolinifera) at a really good price. I love these shrubs for winter color and shape, so they went into the trolley. Back home I didn’t want to put them into the existing bed because that would obscure the winter view of, and through, the conifers. So they were put onto the porch until I could find time to put them somewhere.
I decided to plant them on the other side of the garden between the pool and the soon to be square foot gardens. They went into the existing grass. Over the year I accumulated more plants as well as some shrubs. This past weekend with a few more things to put in, it was time to ‘join the dots’ to save the plants from the mowing team – who has mowed some of the little ones down a few times.
Joining the dots was not an easy job, but after a few hours of hard work I had removed all the grass and got the rough outline of the bed. I used kitty litter buckets to cart the sod over to to the edge of the property. I have learned that filling a wheelbarrow may seem easier but the sod is heavy and wheeling a full barrow is almost impossible on rough ground, smaller containers is easier. It also alternated the muscles used.
Next I was going to put about 4 inches of compost and finish with mulch. That would have given me 2 delivery charges, so the nursery suggested combining the two. Down side was that it is like shifting damp compost and I had planned on 3 yards of each – compost and mulch
– which gave me 6 yards dumped in the garden! That is going to take a few weekends to shift.
So now I have a new garden bed which delineates the pool area from the ‘work’ area of the vegetable gardens and washing line, gas tank etc. It also helps to focus the view toward the meadow at the back rather than an open field all around.
So the bed is finished for now, and will have the outline finalized over the next few weeks – or even next spring when I have more things to fill out the back/edges.