Yesterday I mentioned that one project seems to lead to another....and another....and 50 more. And my list just keeps growing and growing.
The elimination of the mint jungle. Or perhaps I should say, the eliMINTation....ahem.
Yup, an absolute nightmare jungle of mint. Planted by the previous homeowners, around the veggie garden.
I'm sure they had their reasons. But it was truly dreadful.
It wasn't even a nice mint that I could use in a Mojito. Nope, it was a weedy, awful variety.
Mint is really quite invasive. I love growing it....but I keep it in pots, so it doesn't get out of control.
Although they planted the mint on the outside of the garden fence, it also pops up everywhere inside my veggie garden. I am constantly doing battle with it, and it drives me bananas.
So, it was time. It had to go. Adios, mint!
I spent hours pulling out every piece of mint I saw, both in and around the veggie garden, and digging out all the roots.
There is still some popping up in the veggie garden, but hopefully I can get a handle on it, now that the massive jungle is gone.
Promise me you will never, ever plant mint directly in the ground. Ever.
After that awful job, I took a break and headed to the garden center.
Because, now I had huge areas to fill with plants that I like - here comes the fun part!
Or so I thought.
Well, let me tell you - digging in our soil up here on the mountain top is never, ever fun.
It's ridiculous how many rocks you pull out of what starts as a small hole.
This is what one small area looked like when I was done planting:
Every single one of those rocks came out of that little three-foot section of ground. Insanity!
Sorry for the fuzzy photo - it had started to rain at this point, but I really wanted to get a few pictures to show you what I was up to!
At the end of the day, I had this. Better, but still a lot of work to be done.
However, I was exhausted. Digging out rocks is no fun. Nor is digging out mint.
Stage II needed to happen at another time. It was time for a cocktail.
Anything but a Mojito, please!
Hendricks with Elderflower Liqueur, fresh Lime, and a sprig of Rosemary.
The next phase of this project involved rebuilding the stone border.
I tackled that this week, and I am loving the finished project!
I'm so pleased with the amount of work I got done here - my little crooked veggie garden is looking just as it should now. A true country garden.
I mowed all the grass on Friday with my little push mower, and I followed up by weed-wacking everything.
What a workout I get every week!
But it was so worth it. I couldn't be happier with how it looks.
It's nothing fancy. It's warped and crooked and some of the boards have rotted out and need to be replaced.
But it's my little country garden, and it makes me very happy.
In this section, where I removed the biggest clump of mint, I put in some perennials that will spread and fill in the space. Black Eyed Susans, Bee Balm, Autumn Joy Sedum, and Salvia in this patch. Four of my favorite perennials....because they are truly easy peasy. Perfect for a little country garden.
I added some annuals for color - Verbena, Cosmos, Angelonia, Portulaca, and Zinnias. And I stuck in a couple of pieces of Creeping Jenny to fill in as a ground cover.
I can't wait to see the explosion of color!
On the left side of the arbor, I have a hot pink climbing Rose, a white shrub Rose, and a purple Clematis. Morning Glories have reseeded from last year's garden, and I'm so excited to see them start climbing up the garden fence.
I popped in a Cleome, which will hopefully drop seeds and send up some volunteers in the future.
And some Petunias and Million Bells, which I truly hope the slugs will leave alone this time.
I wanted very informal plantings around the veggie garden, a true country flower garden.
There was mint growing up all through the clump of Irises, and now that it's gone they can breathe and flourish. They are so happy now!
Another section of the border, with repeated annual plantings, for continuity. There's also a yellow climbing Rose and a maroon Clematis in this section. That should be a lovely combo!
And on the right side of the arbor, a pale pink climbing Rose and purple Clematis share space with some more annuals and a purple dwarf Bee Balm, which I've never seen. I'm excited to see how that does in this spot. Bee Balm is one of my favorite flowers to put in any 'wild' garden where you don't mind it spreading. This purple one claims it's more compact and mounded, rather than spreading. As Mom would say, "Only time will tell!"
Walking from the patio into the back garden, you step up and pass this little birdbath. The new gardens around the veggie garden are so lovely to see, and such an improvement over what was there!
You can see how the veggie garden is located at the back of the garage. The ground is sloped, thus the crooked garden. Add the frost heaves we get every year and this little garden just doesn't stand a chance of straightening out!
The pile of rocks on the right is where my well is located.
And the stone patio is between the house and the garage.
The pups were right by my side while I was taking photos.
Aside from a little romp every now and again to chase chipmunks.
Which, fortunately, they never catch!
The stone patio is where I have the composters, the berry bushes, and the potatoes. In addition, of course, to many pots of flowers to liven things up.
I'd love to string some lights across the patio some day, and perhaps add a table to those chairs. I took those four chairs off the deck when I added the herb garden up there, and they are kind of just hanging out on the patio right now.
This is the view from the patio to the back garden. My sweetie plans to someday run a stone path from the stone step (bottom left of photo) over to the entrance of the veggie garden. I think that would be so lovely!
This is the garden from the other side of the property, back by the shed and the fire pit.
It sure has come a long, long way since I moved in last year.
The back corner by the Lilac was a jumble of giant weeds, rotting tarps and garbage when I moved in. I tackled that project last summer, cutting up moving boxes and smothering the weeds. I mulched the whole thing, and dragged over a metal trough I found in the woods, and a couple of andirons I found by the fire pit. I added two whiskey barrel planters I brought with me from my rental house, and planted the whole thing with annuals and ornamental grasses.
This is what it looked like at the end of the summer. Wow - love, love, love!!
And here's what it looks like right now. I loved those ornamental grasses so much last year that I planted them again this year in the whiskey barrels. One barrel is buried behind the plants on the right, which I believe may be Evening Primrose.
The Creeping Jenny that was in the planters last year established itself quite well in the mulch. And I like it! I think I'll bring in another type of groundcover to add a little variety. Something with a blue tinge, perhaps.
And in the center of the metal trough, I planted the small weeping Pussy Willow tree my daughter gave me. I hope it will do well there, and since the bottom of the trough is rusting out, it will have plenty of room to grow deep roots. They also like a 'wet' corner, so this should be a great spot. Fingers crossed!
I'm just so happy with my little crooked country garden.
And now that I seem to be the winner in the battle of the slugs, hopefully everything will flourish and I'll have wonderful photos to share as the season progresses.
Add to that the fact that I haven't seen the bear for three days now and today is a very, very good day!