I know, big shocker, right?
I'm always working on something, it seems.
Even more of a shocker?
It was out in the garden.
I know....try and contain your complete and utter astonishment.
This is one of those projects that is quite extensive and I will be working on in stages.
Because it's going to involve a lot of back breaking labor on my part.
This is the area I'm determined to turn around.
It's an incredibly sloped, weedy, horrible section of lawn.
That has no business being lawn.
It's a nightmare to mow and it frustrates me every single time.
So I decided it was time to do something about it.
I'm working on a 'Grand Master Plan' for this area, which I will reveal a little later in the post.
For phase 1, I started with the area right along the retaining wall.
I began by cutting open cardboard boxes and laying them out along the wall.
The boxes will smother the weeds and eventually break down into the soil.
They will save me many hours of trying to dig up and toss away those millions of dandelions and other weeds that were growing rampant along the edge.
I bought 5 bags of compost and 5 bags of garden soil. The compost went down first, over the cardboard. I dumped the garden soil on top of the compost and smoothed it all out.
Then I gathered up some rocks from around the property. I will eventually need some larger rocks for the vision I have in my mind but this is a good start.
I had purchased some perennial ground cover plants for this area at my local garden center. I will also be adding some ground cover plants I am digging up from other areas around my house. There is no shortage, believe me!
Ground covers are perfect for this area because they have very shallow roots that run along the surface of the soil, rather than down deep. Since the cardboard will be working to smother weeds for the next couple of seasons, I needed plants with shallow roots.
Plus, they will eventually all blend together into a lovely 'carpet' of various textures and colors.
Much more exciting than a weedy old lawn, don't you think?
The rocks were used to line the edge of one area that had no 'lip' to hold in the soil.
I also included some rocks in each bad as 'accents' - I would like to make this very much an alpine garden, or rock garden in this area along the edge.
It will work nicely with the landscape and with the plan I have for the rest of this section.
For now, I'm happy with the progress I've made. It looks so much better already!
This is pretty much the first thing people see when they pull into my driveway.
You can see how the retaining wall runs along the edge of the driveway, right by where my guests park and enter my house.
I had started to think about the 'transformation' last fall, when I added some spring bulbs to the top layer of the wall. I also threw down a bit of soil and added the Ajuga I dug out of the veggie garden a couple of weeks back. There was already some Ajuga growing there, so adding more will just help it fill in faster.
You can see how sloped the land is here. This area really does not work well as a lawn.
This is the same area, looking at it from the garage parking area....essentially the upper parking area, as opposed to the lower parking area where we were before.
That stone path leads to the short set of steps that lead up to the deck, by the kitchen door.
Looking down from the deck by the kitchen door, this is the same sloping, weedy lawn area I want to rehab.
The area in the bottom right part of the photo is a perennial bed.
You can see a hint of the new plantings in the upper right, along the edge.
Still looking down from the deck, while standing near the tall deck stairs, you get a bigger picture of the area.
So what's my plan?
Well, it's still a work in progress. But here's a very VERY rough idea of what is in my head.
So basically there would be no lawn left on this upper slope. It would be rock gardens, perennial bed and shrubs, and a stone path and seating area.
I see it as a 'secret garden' surrounded by roses, peonies, cottage flowers, and wildlife.
Am I crazy?
Perhaps. But I've done it before, transforming a muddy, clay, hard packed back yard into a woodland paradise.
And I can do it again.