Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Beuller, Beuller...Anyone???

Remember the scene in Ferris Beuller's Day Off where the protagonist's bedroom is filled with flowers and balloons from well-wishers all over Chicago? That's sort of how Andy's garden is beginning to look, with gifts of white flowers. My mother, the Hellebore Queen, gave us a white Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis "Alba"), and her friend Judy sent some white creeping phlox. (The roses that we incorporated into Andy's garden also came from Judy.) Fellow NC blogger Carla sent a thoughtful card, with a packet of Thunbergia seeds inside.

Elsewhere, work continues on the big center island bed. I dig up big chunks of sod, cart them over to the back border where I lay them upside down, then cover the whole affair with sheets of wet cardboard...

and cover that with grass clippings, mulched leaves, and old wheat straw from where Andy used to sleep under the deck. It is pretty labor intensive, and it's not the way to create a bed in a hurry, but I tried this on a smaller scale last year and was amazed at what it did for the soil. I don't plan (read "don't have the money to buy") anything for this back border right now, so I can afford to invest the time for nature do the real work.

Like I said, there are quicker ways to prepare a flowerbed but as Ferris observed:

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around, you might miss it."


Katie said...

That's awesome that Andy's garden is blooming. Not that we should be surprised...

The projects are looking really good! Had I realized how easy sheet mulching really was, I would have done it when we first moved here and used up all those moving boxes instead of storing them in the garage for a couple years!

Greg W said...

I remember that scene! And your new plot looks pretty ambitious. I started one two years ago using this same technique and it has worked out pretty well except I still have to pull some persistent grass shoots from around the edges.

Seeing your project reminds me to get started on my center-of-the-yard bed but I'm still a little nervous about tearing up that much lawn. I'm looking forward to seeing how yours turns out.

Thanks for sharing.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am glad to hear that Andy's garden is blooming and growing with love.

I too have done the cardboard trick in the garden. I didn't have any soil to put on top of it though. I just layed bricks on the cardboard to keep it from blowing away. Yep, it works.

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

I did the sheet mulching thing (although honestly, I'd never heard of it or even knew it had a name).

Like Greg W, I had (and still have) a few shots of persistent grass come up, but it made for great earth to plant in. Three years later and it's now incorporated fully into the berms in my front yard.

Good goin' with your plot. Looks good.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Oh, that sod work looks terrible. I did the same thing last August in 90 degree temps and 70 degree dewpoints. One of us is smarter than the other, doing this in April.