Marty’s Gardening Journal, September 7th, 2009
While I got nearly caught last week by The Spouse when covering up parts of his lawn, this past Friday I got off to an earlier start at 6:30 in the morning. By the time The Spouse came home from work about three hours later, I was just sweeping the sidewalk to remove the telltale signs of dropped soil. It was a perfect time to sit down for breakfast and a cup of tea together before I continued moving dirt to other spots. It took me all weekend to move the three cubic yards of topsoil which had been sitting in the driveway for weeks, but low spots have been filled in and flower beds have been amended (as lawn disappeared). Now all that is left for this year is a new layer of mulch in front and back before winter hits, but I think I will take a little breather before I tackle that job!
The lunar landscape out front has been transformed into another garden with new plants and a small pond. There was little additional digging to be done as I used one of the holes where an overgrown boxwood used to stand. A leftover piece of pond liner was draped into this hole, leaving some excess liner around the edges. The back of the pond was built up a little in order for me to create a gentle slope towards the pond. Thanks to a circulating pump, water runs down this slope and back into the pond. Pieces of flagstone are laid down over the edge of the liner, keeping it firmly in place. A layer of small gravel sits at the bottom of the pond while river rock was used to cover up the rest of the liner. More river rock was added at the edges and on the slope. A pitcher plant was planted in the shallow side of the pond and floating plants were added as well. I created a shallow depression at the bottom of the slope, providing a place for birds to drink and bathe. A rock with a hole drilled into it years ago by a friend was pressed back into service and now connected to the pump spouts water down the slope. In the scheme of things, it is not a huge water feature, but it will supply birds with much needed fresh water and it will probably also attract another frog or two. Just to be on the safe side, three female guppies have been added to the pond to gobble up any mosquito larvae.
Two slow growing Chamaecyparis shrubs (cypress) each with yellow and green foliage, accentuate the bed, which is still dominated by an arborvitae tree ‘emerald green’ planted when the house was built 12 years ago. Coreopsis ‘moonbeam’ was added at the top of the pond while small chrysanthemum plants, in yellow and bronze, alternate around the bottom of the pond. On one side some branches have been stacked, allowing birds a place to rest off the ground, while insects or amphibians can use it as a hiding place. Soon, an order for 300 daffodil bulbs will come in and they too will be added to this bed. While other beds in the front will be more colorful, this bed will be a vision of yellow and green, a theme to be carried forward with other yellow blooming perennials as the seasons pass by. While The Spouse questioned the need for a third pond, he had to admit the new bed looked pretty good. Of course, the fact that there was little work involved from his side (other than taking out those darn overgrown boxwoods during past weekends) did help. And no, he still hasn’t noticed the shrinking lawn…..