One of my many laments since beginning gardening in my current yard is the lack of sun where I want it. Succumbing to gardener’s addiction, I bought sun-loving plants anyway and with crossed fingers plopped them down into my part-shade backyard. Needless to say, they didn’t bloom, got leggy, and were just unhappy all around.
The sunniest spot in my yard is out by the front corner, by the Bottlebrush. (Okay, I couldn’t resist using a picture from last spring with it in full bloom).
I call it the “Stop Sign Bed”, because – well, you can figure it out. This year’s winter project was to make a new, larger bed. And with encouragement from other bloggers, the bed got bigger and bigger to remove water-wasting grass as well as create definition on that side of my home.
First step, the St. Augustine grass, never happy in full sun, had to go. Lori, Gardener of Good and Evil, told me she had used Lasagna Gardening to kill the grass for her many beds. She came over to help me, and off we went.
While the grass is dormant, we laid a thick layer of cardboard and newspaper, making sure that even no small area was left exposed. Grass takes every opportunity to sneak out. We covered that with a thick, rich layer of organic compost, then topped it with mulch.
After all the layers were in place, the entire thing was wet down with a water hose to begin the process of decay.
I added in some Decomposed Granite paths edged with smooth volcanic rock that I had in another part of the yard. As my aching back allows, I’ll add more to further define the edges.
And my favorite part is the Stock Tank that I added near the Stop Sign. It creates a new focal point for the eye to see other than the legal warning. I do hope, though, that it doesn’t distract drivers from the Stop Sign!
The view from the street of the new bed – it ended up quite large. By the time the weather permits springtime planting, the cardboard will be decayed, hopefully the grass will be dead, and I’ll be able to plant all those sun-loving flowers I want.
What was your winter garden project this year?
Wonderful bed. Nice and big and an excellent focal point. It will be fun planting it all and seeing it grow in. Not too many winter projects here but a few both in and out of the garden.
Looking good, Robin! You know I love those stock tanks as planters. You’ll have everyone in your neighborhood wanting one.
Wow! Great job! No wonder your back was killing you. Can’t wait to see the bed filled in.
Wow, that looks great; I love decomposed granite, but hauling it is hard on the back! I tried lazagna gardening behind the toolshed last year, but I didn’t put down enough paper; bits of grass popped through;next time I’ll put down twice as much as I think is enough.
Shamefully, I didn’t do anything this winter, other than plant some daffodils early in the season.
Wow, that looks wonderful! All that new playground for you! People will automatically stop, so you’ve created a new neighborhood safety feature.
I’ve had great luck with the “lasagna” method myself! You have to layer more for bermuda grass, but St. Aug. is easy. And believe me, we’ve all succumbed to buying plants that need sunlight, hoping we can “stretch” a bit. Congratulations on this new wonderful spot!
Of course you are my inspiration for it, Pam! And I’ve already had comments, even with it almost empty.
Unfortunately, my back is still hurting a lot, Vertie. I definitely overdid it. But I’m excited, too!
Nola, I wouldn’t have used that much, but fortunately I had wise advice from Lori. However, I’m sure I’ll still be pulling some grass runners this summer.
Linda, it’s nice to know my “stretching” addiction is full of good members! I’m fortunate that there wasn’t Bermuda in that area. Thanks for visiting.
It’s so pretty, even without plants. It’s going to be fabulous once you get all your perennials in it. Love the path and the stock tank.
I was hoping you were going to post pictures! WOW, what a job! I had no big winter project. I’m still recovering from the fall project!
Caroline, it was quite a big job, and it isn’t complete yet. Hopefully it will be worth it.
That tank is vital to my vision, Diana. And the dirt is so good in it, I can’t wait to plant it.
Tina, thanks for visiting. Those projects keep us busy, don’t they?
Robin, that looks fabulous! I have a stop sign in my corner bed and also a streetlight. You’re making me want a stock tank there!
Cindy, it certainly gives the yard a better focal point!