Monday, April 6, 2015

Gardening Takes Time

I said in my by-line that this blog would include gardening, but I don't have a lot of garden posts up. Gardens take a lot of work, and time to fill in nicely. I wanted to be sure I had something I could be proud of, and show off.

This is one corner of my garden, this week:

It's always nice to get compliments from the neighbors, on one's yard.

Last week, it wasn't quite as filled in:

Here's how it looked in 2011:

You might not be aware, that lawns are not a natural part of American landscape. The grasses used are not native. They require fertilizer, water, mowing, and work to maintain, and they don't support either their human residents or the local wildlife. So I've been working to minimize the amount of Bermuda grass in my lawn.Given the invasiveness of the plant, and my neighbors continuing cultivation of their lawns, I know that this will be an ongoing concern for the yard.

By 2011, this had been through two-three summers of mostly natural watering. Around 2011-2012, I put in the phlox:
The phlox did well, the Bermuda grass continued to die back:
Eventually I pulled up all of the stolons and rhizomes that I could find, and mulched as I went:

In 2013, the phlox was doing better and filling in:

In 2014, it had filled in further. I started pulling out more of the Dianthus to make room for the growing plants:
Also last year, I mulched the pathway and added more creeping thyme to that area.

I pulled up some of the phlox in the middle, and put in a lavender plant for some height and off-season interest.

This year, I've removed more Dianthus, and am attempting to re-plant some of the phlox spilling over the edges, to spread it elsewhere in the yard. I've also been putting pea gravel on the pathway, and looking to get more creeping thyme.

If you ever wonder what your neighbors are doing with their not-picture-perfect lawn, try asking. Beautiful results take time.