Helpful Pam

Pam at Digging at my home in South Austin

I had the joy yesterday to meet Pam at Digging, when I hired her consulting services to teach me about some of the existing plants in my yard, as well as guide some of my next decisions. She’s just as nice in person as she is in her blog, I’m so happy to report. She also gave me some great suggestions for new beds, and new ideas for old beds, and identified a couple of mystery plants for me. Here’s her smiling face with my Agapanthus in the front yard.

She laughed at my tendency to buy “one of everything” because I love all of it and can’t make up my mind. She said I need to at least start buying “three of everything” so it will make more sense in the garden. yippee – I have permission to buy more!!!

I also have found someone to help with the manual labor on rebuilding and repairing the pond (I don’t have one of those “honey-do’s”, so I’m thrilled to find a hardworker at a reasonable price). The plan is to make the pond significantly smaller, until it is mostly just the waterfall with a filter and small pool, where I can put mosquito fish to keep the buggers away. Then, the large area, which is about 5′ wide at the widest point, and 8′ long, will become a small private patio, where I hope to put a comfy lounge chair for meditation and reading in the cooler weather. Sounds like a great plan, I hope I can pull it off.

I have a question for you folks out there – I will need to fill in that large empty pond area with dirt, etc, then do the appropriate sand on top for the pavers. What kind of dirt should I purchase to fill it in with? And, I have some leftover untreated lumber (cedar) from my old fence that was taken down – it’s gray and falling apart – can I toss some of that into the hole to fill it up a bit? Will it rot naturally and be okay for the environment? I’m just trying to save some money on buying dirt, as well as use up these fence timbers that are stacked on the side of my yard waiting to be hauled away on the city junk pickup day.


3 thoughts on “Helpful Pam

  1. It was a pleasure to work with you, Robin. Thanks for the nice comments.

    Since you’re going to put a patio on top, I think you can use inexpensive fill dirt to fill up your pond. Not “sandy loam,” which in my opinion is a gooey mess; just regular old dirt. Your handyman may even know where to get some for free if he helps others with their landscaping projects. Someone else out there may be trying to get rid of their excess dirt. Again, check Austin Freecycle’s listings.

    As for using the fence boards to fill the hole, it seems to me that they would attract termites and/or rot in short order, creating air pockets under your patio.

    Thanks for the info, Pam. I didn’t think about the end result of the wood rotting – good thing I asked!I’ll check out freecycle as well. If I were going to buy regular “dirt”, where should I go?

  2. Nice to see a new blog. I have not started one yet, but it’s just a matter of time before I do. I agree with Pam about not using the wood to fill up your old pond. You want whatever you put in there to be very solid so your pavers don’t shift. If you are not in a hurry you may want to fill it up and leave it for a few months to settle.

    I’m in Fort Worth and we have a stone and paver place called Whiz Q. They sell pavers, rock, soil, compost, fountains. I’m sure Austin must have a similar place. It’s a great place to see all the pavers and fountains installed. They even teach classes in how to do all this yourself.

    Have fun with your new project.

    Jeanette, Thanks for reading, and I’m new to blogging, too! But now I already appear to be hooked!

  3. Pam single-handedly makes me want to move to Austin. How lucky you are to have someone so experienced near by. (And what good advice about buying three of everything!)

    Yes, her experience and sweet personality are a big help, and I’ve only just met her. Now if my budget will let me buy 3 of everything…Robin

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