Was an ambitious year

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Was an ambitious year

Postby orchidguy » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:17 pm

Last year I prepared 14 new gardens for this year......was a breeze. This year, I am not sure what got into me, but decided on another 13 new beds, as I am trying to eliminate as much lawn as possible. This did not go over so easily. The rain was constant, the area's I worked on were pure clay and huge stone, and this was in a part of the property that could only be accessed with a wheelbarrow and shovel.
I decided to not stick with the typical 6' wide bed, that could be accessed from both sides, and made some that were more than 12 ft deep, and decided to just cram shrubbery into the backs of them.
Well, only got 4 of them planted, and spent the summer using a crowbar to loosen soil and embedded stones/rocks/boulders, and making a makeshift path, to get the soil in. Never again.

This bed is 29 ft long, and around 9 ft at its widest point. There is a small path, and a circular lawn between this and the other beds. The back has been planted with 39 clematis that will grow up over a solid fence and the gazebo. Got to plant about 24 new hosta, and some odds and ends plants. Will finish the center with roses and delphiniums in the spring

The other bed(s) in the picture, are actually bigger than the picture indicates, as they were only half done and the old soil not removed as yet
new bed.jpg
new bed 1.jpg
new bed 2.jpg
new bed 3.jpg
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"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain
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Re: Was an ambitious year

Postby Laura » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:27 pm

You are very ambitious and make fine flower beds ... but oh,just looking at those rocks is making my back ache.

Image

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Re: Was an ambitious year

Postby HeidiPG » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:36 pm

Holy Jiminy, Dan, I am exhausted just looking at your photos!
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Re: Was an ambitious year

Postby orchidguy » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:50 pm

Lol, this was not an easy task. Every shovel full of wet, dense clay stuck to the shovel, and the rocks in the photo, was only the first 8" or so, there was still at least triple that during the dig.
Something I realized while doing this......I certainly inherited the "cranky old fart" gene, so apparent in the rest of my family. These last beds were not fun
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Re: Was an ambitious year

Postby Lizzy » Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:29 pm

What an enormous mind-boggling, backbreaking undertaking.

Why 12 feet deep? I don't understand this.

Why so much planned for one year? (because you expected the area to be as easy as the year before for 14 beds, yes?)

Why not rent a bobcat (or getting the loan of) for the digging?

WE can't get a bobcat in here (fencing/laurel hedge.) Jim faced some of those big rocks when I decided I needed a deep hole/area (SMALL compared to your beds!) to transplant a banana tree/shrub/bush. And they were sheer hell to remove...that area is hard pan, gravel, rocky, and BIG rocks. We swore never again and I switched to raised beds on top of cardboard, etc.

We are in mid/late 70s with spine degeneration issues.

But, 12 years ago when we moved in here, he hand removed big rocks, rocky soil, and wheelbarrowed in many loads of tri-mix soil (supposedly pre screened) ...he built a screen, screened the stuff and dumped it in. Every year I cleared off bucket after bucket (big buckets) of small stones...pebbles...every rainfall brings about the same amount to the top of the soil. Some of the beds look as tho I dumped buckets of tiny pebbles on top of the soil deliberately.

He also put in that black rubber stuff that prevents grass from growing into the flower beds along the edges.

For the patio...bricks...on top of 8" of sand...and inside of 6 years, the apple and cherry tree roots were lifting patio bricks...they continue to do so, of course, altho the areas DID get good attention.

For us, it's a losing battle...this autumn's pruning is darned hard on us...and we are trying to plant naturalizing spring bulbs in the front moss-lawn. We use the method of cutting and lifting a few feet of sod (there IS grass in the moss) raking in bulb food, raking again, and tossing the bulbs in to lie in as natural a manner as possible...no "soldiers in ranks"! I thought I'd gone overboard buying this year 40 various crocus bulbs to go in...but he's brought home an additional 40 daffodils, plus approx. 40 small bulbs. It's rained for most of October...and there's no change in the weather for November.

How I envy you the 39 new clematises - I'd be walking around worshipping I would...and how I wish you well with your endeavours!

I think you are mad...and you remind me so much of me in my 40s and what I used to be able to do.

I really enjoyed your post, Orchidguy!
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Re: Was an ambitious year

Postby orchidguy » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:21 pm

Lizzy wrote:Why 12 feet deep? I don't understand this.
...lol......deep as in back to front....not down towards the center of the earth :lol: The beds here were actually dug down a little over 2' deep. I guess I should've said width, but obviously hadn't the wherewidthal to say it in the first place. You can boo me now :lol:


Why so much planned for one year? (because you expected the area to be as easy as the year before for 14 beds, yes?)

Yep, you hit the nail on the head with that. Thought it would be easy and had a bunch of plants coming to fill the beds, so they had to get done

Why not rent a bobcat (or getting the loan of) for the digging?

I have equipment here for that, but the only way to reach this area is either through archways or a small foot trail through the dense forest here. If I brought anything bigger than a wheelbarrow through the bush, it would damage the huge pine and other trees that surround this part of the "back yard"

I realized that my body is starting to tell me to slow it down a bit, and for the first time ever, actually had a back ache.
"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain
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Re: Was an ambitious year

Postby Lulu » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:32 pm

If not during the digging, then for sure by next year, a little voice inside your head (or back) will be repeating,,,,"what was I thinking"??

I sure admire your energy! Bet it'll look amazing though!
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Re: Was an ambitious year

Postby Lizzy » Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:47 pm

Oh CARP! I never thought of depth, soon as I read yours, I feel like such a fool. I was thinking "gosh, he must have massive tree roots there tho, but you never mentioned these..."

Okay, I understand completely about the no-bobcat getting in there.

Thank you!

Lulu, betcha by next year he'll consider This year just an aberration and he'll be gung ho again!

One thing for sure, don't hire anyone who works out at the gym...body builders. I had two visit at the farm, positive loading the square hay bales from outside to inside and stacking in the haybarn. They were severely showed up by a farm wife who could outlift for longer than her husband, who freely admitted to it! My lads were extremely disconcerted...and sore-bodied.

The Storm has arrived...two little dogs HAD to go for a car-ride and now two little dogs are drenched. Which means ONE of them will refuse to go outside till the rains stop...the other doesn't like the wind and rain. They will try to "hold it" ...maybe I should have built a covered walkway from porch and part of lawn?
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