Friday, March 30, 2012


As you can see our garden is still not back to its use able state.  I have slowly been reclaiming it.  Between working on it, I also have potting and planting to do. 

Three days ago I started on the area to the right of this gate.  It was in the same condition this side is.  It was necessary to grub out weeds and tear down old retaining walls made of bricks and cement blocks.   The freeze and thaws of two winters had done a number on them, not to mention the weeds root systems prying them apart.  I dry lay all my beds because I know I will probably want to change them.  A dry laid wall can have a life span of more than three years if the rows of bricks are stacked with a slight stair stepped edge.  that way when the ground swells and pushes against them it doesn't push them off the row below.

If you didn't see the article before of how we are reclaiming the garden here is the link:

The following picture is to the right of the gate on the outside of the garden.  The area runs parallel to the gravel drive.  You can see the bunch grass on the edge of the drive I haven't grubbed out yet.  This grass has a huge root system that is like an underground mop.  I needed to work the area first and build the walls so I could salvage what good dirt was left.  I cleared enough area to begin working.

The fireplace tile and the lamb's ears were always there.  It was hard to believe the lambs ears survived in the wet environment with the weeds.    The basket in the bed was a basket I had planted with house plants and the bottom rotted out of it.  I thought, this is going to get recycled another year.  Today It became a pansy basket.  I used coconut mat to line it with.  I had a couple of small pieces left from another project.  The ajuga is blooming all over the garden.  I find it buried in the weeds.  The dark green plant is a "Malva".  It is one that was growing last year.  The winter didn't turn it to mush.  The light green plant is "Feverfew".  It survived too.  if you look closely at the base of the stake on the right you will see a "Jackman  clematis".  Two on this fence survived the two winters and the weeds.  I almost pulled this one along with the weeds.

The center section of the area to the right of the gate was left soil less.  I scraped down to the clay to make enough soil to fill the bed on the left.

Ajuga isn't soil particular.  It will grow in clay as well as your best loam.  It doesn't even complain when water is short.  I fashioned a bird bath with a large ceramic drain tray from a flower pot and a kitty litter pail turned upside down.

The area we have been working with is approximately 32 feet long.  The fence is made of two 16 feet long cattle panels. 

To the far right of the gate I made another bed.  It has a basket too.  This basket is lined with 2 sheets of news paper.  By the time the roots of any plants have filled the basket the paper will dissolve and the roots will hold the soil in.  As yet the bed and basket are not planted.  There is a clematis in the bed and the ajuga.  right now I am planning to put thyme in the basket and tarragon in the bed.  These are both items the deer won't eat.  They are decorative in the flower garden as well as edible. 
Looking at this picture as I type I think I will look to see what chives I have coming up and put the along the fence to keep the weeds down.  I have use chives for decorative purposes before. 
The following is a blog on how I used them:

When I look at this and think, three days..doesn't look like much.  Then I remember I only worked on it for three hours each morning till the sun got too much for me and I went in the barn to pot plants.  

In the evenings I have been clearing out raised beds and planting them with broccoli, potatoes and onions.  Right now our tiller is kaput and I am having to use a grub hoe and I am very happy I had great soil which was not compacted by waiting for me two years.

I have found it is harder to repair the damage done by neglect
than it was to construct the garden in the first place.

For more blogs by me visit at:

A blog mostly about quilting, but cooking, poetry, prose and a little gardening,
New blog, tutorial on how to make 5 panel Boxer Shorts.
New Blog about dolls.
Not a garden blog.  There are articles which have nothing to do with creating or gardening. 
There are blogs on the new born baby kittens we found and mothered. 
new blog  about an endangered beetle:
It is a blog where I voice my opinions which will always be environmentally friendly.
As always, any pictures or writings are my own. 
Credit has been given to contributions not my own.
Please do not use without permission.

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