New Flower Bed

The big news here this year is that I’ve stopped growing flowers for market.  It was fun, but a lot of work and a time drain for a fairly small amount of money.  The balance between work-and-time and fun-and-money was definitely tipped too far away from fun and money, so I quit.   Now I have time for other things, for example, a new flower bed  just for fun.  It will be a mixed bed with annuals and perennials this year.

Day 1:

I did the well-known garden hose layout to come up with what I thought was a fairly pleasing bed shape alongside the driveway.

Your basic kidney bean shape

Your basic kidney bean shape, sort of

Taking the sod off is the worst part of the job, unless you rent a power sod cutter.  I don’t exactly have one of those, but I do have an excellent John Deere tractor.  With an hour or so of very careful bucket work, I was able to get the sod off.

Beats doing it by hand

Beats doing it by hand

No more sod

No more sod

I spent quite a bit of time trying to lay the sod I took out over a bad patch in the yard where we had a lot of nasty grub damage this year.  The sod was not very uniform in thickness so I got sort of a hummocky job, but I think that I can level it out with rolling and top-dressing.  It’s too ugly to show here.

Day 2:

The topsoil around here is nothing special so a couple of trips to the county recycling station for $20 loads of compost gave me this:

Looking better

Looking better

Doesn't that look nice and rich?

Doesn’t that look nice and rich?

Ya gotta love a tractor-mounted rototiller for making short work of blending in the compost.

Churning the dirt

Churning the dirt

I wanted the  bed to be raised in the middle, so I added a few loader buckets of topsoil and mixed that in too.  The blended soil and compost looked kind of pale and pathetic at this point, so I  followed up with three buckets of year-old horse manure, courtesy of my good neighbor.  I may regret that, because I’m sure there are weed seeds galore in there.

Horse poo

Horse poo

A final tilling and some raking gave me what I hope is a good flower bed.

A done deal

A done deal

A little cleanup work, and I can start on the fun part.  Annie thinks this is the fun part.

Comments on: "New Flower Bed" (6)

  1. Thank you for your new post. I can understand not growing for market any longer… Growing for market is a tumultuous adventure, most often not very rewarding. I question the practice every time a new pest surfaces or a jet stream shifts… ! You have created a beautiful new clean slate! I hope it is rewarding and not too full of weeds 😉 I look forward to seeing what you choose for your plantings!

  2. thinmac said:

    Hi, Kyra. Thanks for your comments. It’s always nice to hear from a kindred spirit. I’m in the process of moving some perennials from my flower field into the new bed and will keep posting progress photos.

  3. Al ha….two things that I have never had. A tractor and a truck. One can make fast work with those two things. I am getting too old for a truck but only if I had had one back in the day. People tell me that I have the pretties yard on my street but I am never satisfied with it. Do you know that feeling?

    • Yep, I love my truck and tractor. I probably would have made the new bed a lot smaller without the tractor to do the hard parts. You must be a busy gardener if you’re never satisfied. I think I’m a little on the lazy side, and tend to be satisfied most of the time.

      • Back in the early nineties, I made my front yard over. I thought by planting blooming shrubs and perennials that I would be cutting back on yard work. WRONG.

        I made a bed if azaleas in the back with lots of perennials too. I have truly enjoyed it and add something new each year. Last year all I did was divide a lot of hostas. This year I have done nothing because of arthritis in my back. However, there was a time when I came inside in the summer only if it got dark. ha ha….still, I love your garden.

      • You must do OK in the heat if you worked on your gardens in the Alabama summer daytime. I think that would about kill me. Sorry about your arthritis. What a bummer.

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