Saturday, May 29, 2010

Calling all gardeners!!

This is part of our backyard.
Please excuse the mess - we've been working!
My rock star husband did a wonderful thing for me this week!!
He knows I have been struggling with this darn yard since we moved in. I love vegetable gardening... and we have tried and tried, for 6 years to get my garden to be productive.
The problem is... (over to the right where you dont see) the people before us had laid i-dont-know-how-many-tons-of-rock on the clay soil to park their RV.
I have picked rock until my fingers are bleeding. Literally.
We have rototilled, fertilized, mulched, added about 4 tons of good soil. To no avail :(
Basically a jungle of weeds think that's their home. We have sprayed kill-all-vegetation for two years in a row - but those suckers keep coming back!
Oh.. and in all their wisdom, the previous owners had also bordered the entire lawn with 2 feet of rocks.
So... i told my husband, I GIVE UP!
IF i could get that weed jungle to stop growing, i could build a raised garden. That has kind of been our plan for the last two years. Thus trying to kill all those weeds and baby tree roots!
Yah. No go.
We live at the top of a hill, and the yard is severely slanted (so much so that a kiddie pool overflows at one end and is empty at the other - on the flattest part of the yard! lol)
I love spending time outside 3/4 of the year. And we are slowly working toward building an awesome back covered patio - that has a deck above, off of the master bedroom.
Last year we laid the patio, and inset 4x4 holders. Replaced half the fence, and the gutters, and painted the house.
(next year is the fence you see, that we share with our neighbors)
Slowly but surely!
I have been growing my tomatoes in big pots in the back yard, because i cant go without fresh maters in the summer!! LOL!
But that's about the extent of any gardening the last few years, here in the back yard!
Soooo... my wonderful husband came up with a great plan!!
He showed up the other day with a truck load of soil, and a bunch of logs, enlisted Bailey's help and they went to work!
He laid weed sheet (or whatever you call it) over the rocks, and built a little raised bed all the way around the fence line!
He said he knows I have wanted to have a bunch of flowers surrounding the yard - and he thought this would be a cool way to do it! He also thought maybe just maybe i could put vegetables in here too.
Ok, so I've been thinking!
And I need to learn about good sunny perennials!
I have approx 2 feet wide, by the length of this trough, by about 10" high.
And i know NOTHING about this kind of gardening!
Can I plant perennials in this depth of soil? Will they thrive or die?
What are your favorite flowering perennials?
Can you reccomend anything?
Any tips, or suggestions?
I can do some now, and seed some this winter to put in next spring if i need to.
I am really excited! But have no idea where to start! LOL
Please... oh wise gardeners out there... share some of your ideas with me?
What would YOU do with it?
oohh... sooo excited to hear your suggestions!! :D
Bren :)


katie said...

Brenis, my best advise is to grow what is native to your area. What do you see growing along the highways and byways. No one carries water to them or fertilizes them or weeds them. They are hardy and drought resistant.
In my area it is like purple coneflower, blazing star liatris, yellow butter cups, daisies.

primitivebettys said...

Looks like you are headed in the right direction now... :) what a great hubby you have! :) As for good flowering perennials, it is best to contact your local nursery & see what they suggest so you get something good for your area. Here, my Shasta daisies and salvia are doing the best this year.



WoolenSails said...

I was thinking that before you said what your husband did. We have lots of slanted areas too, so I was thinking of dumping soil and doing raised beds.

As for flowers, I dug up the dirt and threw some seeds in and now I am waiting for them to grow. That is my expertise, lol.


moosecraft said...

Congrats to you, Bren! I think that this year, you will have success with your gardening. I have to say, that I would visit a local nursery and see what they suggest for perennial flowers. What's hardy over here might not work for you. But, definitely go nuts with veggies like maters, cukes and beans. Herbs would be good too. Those should all do well in a raised bed.

Joanne said...

I can't help - don't even have as much expertise as Debbie there! My thumb is definitely not green! Looking good though and what a husband you have!

Laurie sowthacres said...

A couple things I had great success with when I lived in Castle Rock were Coneflowers, coreopsis, and daylillys are always a good one. Iris as well. You will want to put the daylillys together and iris together as they kind of spread and that way your clumps will be a little bigger each year. Carnations work well too. Wow - you got my brain on a roll!! oh, and for something low, there is a succulent flower that is something rose - cant think of it right this second. Also, chicks and hens work good :) I love perennials!!!

Carmen Sutton & Jean Hohulin said...

You may want to soil test. pH is a major factor in nutrient up take of plants. Even if you have all the nutrients in the soil if the pH is off then the plant can not use them. Lots of organic matter will help loosen up the clay soil.
Good luck

Miz T. said...

You will have a fabulous garden! Just remember that gardeners need to learn patience. What you plant this year won't fully mature until the third year. You received good advice...test the soil and stick with local plants. Some plants such as lavender, iris, phlox and bleeding heart can grow almost anywhere. My favorites in Maine are my peonies, phlox and lupine.