Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Back Garden: Before and After

I am super happy with the results. Not only does it look better but it is much easier to get around the bed from all sides, especially the back. I can sit on the stone edge and easily reach into the center to plant or weed. But really I will be using my garden seat most of the time for the front part which is much lower than the back side. Getting down is hard, but getting back up is harder.

This project just about finishes the back yard, with the exception of a not-quite-figured out plan to make a stone walkway down to the water. We have the rock, but to make it stable to walk down the steep sides of the pond will be a feat.
But for now, the dirt is all in, all the plants are planted and I have several packets of seed that need to go in too. This new bed is larger than the previous set-up and there are many empty spaces...
My plan is to wait til things go on sale.  And they will, you know. Keep in mind that this is still a war between me and the voles. I am hoping that what is in here now, stays in here. Especially the hydrangea. This will be the first year (3rd) that it has buds on it. Daylilies, Iris and several varieties of Phlox are the backbone of this bed, with annuals like geraniums, impatiens and nasturtiums for color.
Again...I am SO HAPPY with this project. Thanks to Mike who did the labor and especially Dave who gave the big OK and got the stones. Yay Men!!


  1. Beautiful....job well done. Now you can play!

  2. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Melody, a suggestion for your voles, which I have tons of. Thye have destroyed whole beds of mine. Especially when the dirt is nice and soft. A raised bed is their idea of heaven! :o( Plant your plants with gravel or Perma-til (comes in bags at the garden center) surrounding them---they don't like to tunnel though it. Or, what I have done with individual plants and bulbs and daylillys, is plant them surrounded by a plastic nursery pot. Cut out the bottom for the roots to grow through, dig a hole and slip in the pot, or plastic collar as it in now known. :o) Put some gravel or Perma-til in the bottom of the hole , plant the plant,filling in with soil and put a small layer of Perma-til on top, covered with a thin layer of soil and mulch. This can be a pain when planting but it has worked for me so far. They tunnel all around them but i haven't lost anything yet. With shrubs, you have to use either a very large plastic pot or piece a couple together. It doesn't have to be very deep because they don't tunnel very deep. Good luck. Betsy

  3. So substantial and permanent--it looks great--like it was supposed to be this way! Congratulations!

  4. Looks great! I can't believe you got it done so quickly!

  5. Anonymous9:28 AM

    By George, or is it Dave? I think you've got it!

  6. It looks great; it has been an amazing transformation!

  7. this project turned out really well. the stones look terrific!

  8. Just gorgeous and loved the photos yesterday,too!

  9. BEAUTIFUL, Melody. Kudos to Mike and Dave, but we all know you're the Artistic Brain behind the work. I loved yesterday's slide show, too. Enjoy the beauty! :-)

  10. Looks fabulous! All that open space makes me want to plant something!

  11. So beautiful, your garden!

  12. Unfortunately all good things come to an end, and to be more accurate, all great things will come to an end. What am I referring to as great? What I am referring to as great is my hired hand(only because I have not thought of a better word to describe my partner Mike,

    Melody please forgive me for taking advantage of your blog's comment page as a platform to tell your readers and the world ( very wishful thinking )about my new best friend Mike. A photo of Mike would provide this story with a thousand words, a close-up would tell a much more truthful and interesting story. I have never met a more honest man and yet he has been around the block shall we say. This is a man who's personality is so passive and gentle I found myself defending him verbally many times and also found myself willing to physically fight to defend him.But make no mistake about it, Mike needs no help of any kind. Mike is 122lbs. of pure Tennessee mountain man. A face chiseled from granite, razor sharp features and wrinkles that scream of a hard life outdoors.

    I met Mike quite by accident. I was getting Melody's car estimated for damages it incurred from hitting deer while I was driving it early one Saturday morning headed for Atlanta. He was just a helper at this body shop, working a part-time schedule and a salary not worth mentioning. He approached me, introduced himself, and asked if I could use a hand with my home and property, claiming to have helped build it. I knew he could tell there was something wrong with me and his offer for help was not at the time altruistic but very business like. "I can do a little bit of everything but not really great at anything", he told me that he would be willing to trade work for anything of equal value. He told me what he would be willing to work for on an hourly basis, and that angered me so I doubled it. No, not because I'm such a great guy, but because I felt so good about this guy that he would prove me right. I remember his reply to my offer to double his salary. " You're the boss" is what he told me, although I never really assumed that role.

    I learned how to fell trees, safety wire cable trees preventing them from falling on the house, how to work on electricity without shutting off the power. I learned basic carpentry, knowledge for plumbing problems, and expert advise about how to self teach yourself anything.

    During the year or so we were together he help me when I was helpless at times and unable to work. He amazed me by showing his genuine concern for my well being. He learned about all my different medications and how to administer them to me. He could recognize borderline overdose and inform me of how close to it I was at times. He had at times, literally pick me up in his arms and carry me to a more comfortable place while I was stricken with a " down time". I never asked him to be a care-giver, neither did he, but somehow he became one, and a damn good one.

    He did lie to me about one thing though, and that was when he said "I can do a little bit of everything but not great at anything". That is so untrue, Mike is great at everything !

    We've finished all the projects we started, with above average results. What I got out of it was a education you couldn't buy if you wanted to and a friend I couldn't buy if I wanted to.

    Thanks Mike, job well done.

    You're lame boss,

  13. Melody, Dave, and Mike . . .

    The results of all your hard work are spectacular! To Dave, I only hope we will find someone half as wonderful as Mike here in our new place. What a great story!

    To Melody, I promise to get back here more often to keep up with what y'all are doing. We are known around here as the "new folks who buy a lot of dirt" too! You have more shade and milder summer temps than we do here in the northwest corner of Alabama, but I know you will have a lot to teach me about the flower beds. I'm better at stuff you can eat.

    And by the way, our three dogs keep the vole population a minimum.

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