June 1, 2010

Sunny skies and Project Flower Garden

I know I've recently complained about the weather (complaining comes far too easily for me!), but I'm adapting... and starting to really enjoy it! :) We were home this weekend, so I spent most of Saturday outside attacking the one little garden bed we have out front. There will be a later post on this and I will include pictures... you will see the disaster it was last year (weeds almost as tall as Evan!) and the tiny steps we've taken to fix it. Neither of us are gardeners and frankly - when we get home from work at 6pm, prepare supper and eat... the last thing we feel like doing is going outside to work. And as with most of you, the weekends are B.U.S.Y!

But not this past Saturday. We were home and the sun was shining! I enjoyed a leisurely walk down our Main Street popping in and out of stores... then it was time to attack Project Flower Garden (PFG). 
Step 1. Pull out all the weeds... and there are more than you're imagining! :)
Step 2. What to do with the soil?? You can hardly call what we have soil; it's definitely more clay-like, but the weeds seem to like it!  One of our friends had inspired me - he was out rototilling his whole front yard in preparation for re-sodding... figured if he could do his front yard, I could do my 10'x10' bed in preparation for fresh soil and mulch.  So I went to Home Depot and rented a rototiller... thankfully when I asked Evan to lift it out of the truck for me, he took pity did the rototilling! It's definitely harder work than it looks, but we (he) did it! :)

The bed looks fresh and ready... now Next Steps!

Future Step 3. Order good top soil, and then a BIG load of mulch... I will try a "weed control fabric" under the mulch and see if that does any good. Have any of you used that? Does it work??

Future Step 4. Since there's nothing left in the 'bed' except one tree/bush, I will need a trip to the garden centre for plants. Do you have any recommendations for easy to maintain plants that don't need a lot of direct sun and don't need to be watered daily??

Unfortunately the next two weekends are back to B.U.S.Y, so not sure when this will happen. Evan jokes that maybe next year we'll finally get something planted, as it seems to be an annual step forward and not a "get it all done today" event! Anyone want to come do it for us?? ;)

We have our annual ESL BBQ this Saturday, so the very few "free" hours this week will be busy planning, buying, and preparing for the event. Also this Saturday is our annual booth at the Unionville Festival, but unfortunately since it is coinciding with the BBQ, we'll miss out on participating this year. It's usually a great time! The forecast today is rain for Saturday, but we're praying for clear skies for both events! :)


  1. Janna,

    Good for you! You attacked it! Give yourself maybe 1/2 hr. at a time trying to make it better. It's such a good therapy.
    The weed control fabric is good but here in more rural areas weeds get in and then it is hard to maintain. In a city, it may not be as bad. After a couple of years you have to think of redoing it and putting some nutrients back into the soil as the mulch tends to limit nature doing it. Putting in some good shade loving annual plants this year to get started may be a good option. Anyway, congratulations.

    Love, Hazel Leger

  2. I'm not sure what kind of look you want in your garden, but astilbe and sedum should work well. Hostas and pulmonaria are easy-care too, but only flower for a little while. Phlox has thrived everywhere I've planted it (smells really nice too). These are all summer-flowering except pulmonaria which flowers in very early spring.
    The only things flowering right now in my garden are phlox subulata and coral bells; I don't think they need a lot of sun either.
    Good luck! I hope it turns out lovely.

  3. Thanks Hazel & Bobbie-Anne!
    Hazel - I read the same thing somewhere when I was googling weed control fabric... maybe the mulch will do a good enough job for at least supressing the weeds a bit??
    Bobbie-Anne - I'll have to check out those plants, as Hosta is the only one I'm familiar with! ;) And I do love Hostas... :)

  4. I love hostas. I could give you some if you want to come down for coffee someday lol. They are super easy to look after, too. Astilbe is high on my list as well. Another easy one to look after.

    For sure just mulch is easier to move if you want to mix in some compost. Be careful with your topsoil as you can get it FULL of weeds. Garden soil is good. It's too bad you aren't in the Maritimes and ask Marjorie Wilson on CBC. She knows pretty well everything there is to know. For sure searching on internet can give you a lot of help. Good luck and do enjoy!

    Hazel Leger


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