Friday, April 18, 2014

Beginning the Garden

It starts with the mulch.
We had seven cubic yards of hardwood mulch delivered to the vacant lot right by our fence, and we will be defining the beds and walkways with this stuff, which stinks like terrible car deodorizer.
As soon as it was delivered we hopped in the van and picked up two of the four troughs, hereafter referred to as tubs.
 Our local Soddy Daisy store had three, so we returned and got the third one, then dropped it off at our backyard and then went to another Tractor Supply in Dunlap, down the mountain from our old house, to get the fourth one. We were on a mission! Since we were in the area we did go back to the old house to check on it, and make sure all will go well at the closing. Coincidentally while we were driving I got a text that confirmed our closing date had been moved up from May 9th to April 25th, only one week from today! Great news, and I couldn't be happier.
The tub placement is going to be surrounding the patio, so we can enjoying the plants and get to them with the hose easily. They will be raised, leveled, holes drilled for drainage, and surrounded by mulch, so this is the before picture. 
At the old house I had some plants dumped out of their pots so I could retrieve the pots when we moved, and a few of those plants survived the heavy frost and snow, even without their containers, so I rescued them and repotted them again. Then I checked on the emerging hosta down at the bottom of the driveway and was not surprised when a gentle tug brought them up out of the ground, all their roots eaten away. 

 Those nasty moles ate away everything but the crown, so if I left them there, they would eat that too and I decided to get them to a safe place in my new garden. The leaves are up, so I do believe new roots will form and I will have my beloved hosta again. I made a quick nursery bed in a little swimming pool, and placed it in the darkest corner of the yard, which has very little shade. I will blog their progress, or their demise, but I do have hope, having been through this so many times before at that property. I will not miss the moles at all.
Dave has plans to paint the tubs and I will leave the color scheme to  him. We had plans to raise these to waist level, but then changed our minds. At this point the 8' long, 3' wide tubs are about 24" high, and with the supports we plan, they will be about 4-8" higher, and I can easily sit next to them on my garden bench and reach past the center of the beds. 
I have ten more ceramic pots that will be included in the design, just waiting along the west side of the house. And those green and red plastic pots will be filled too. My plan for this side of the house which is the most viewed by the neighborhood, is variegated Euonymous, Knockout roses, and Miscanthus grasses.
 My neighbor, Diane, has a breathtaking garden surrounding her house with pansies, tulips, iris galore, and daylilies. I love that she has hosta on the westside in the bright hot sun. It gives me hope. Love her Japanese maple too, and I covet a similar specimen or two for my garden.
And I met another neighbor who turned me onto a garden center in Ooltewah, which is just what the old gardener in me needed. O boy!


  1. Those tubs are huge! I can't even imagine how much soil it will take to fill them! Your garden is going to be beautiful. I am enjoying seeing the process!

  2. Estou acompanhando com curiosidade!
    Será um belo jardim!
    Um abraço!
    I'm watching with curiosity!
    It will be a beautiful garden!

  3. Oh Melody, just go back to the old house now and get what you want out of the garden. My mom said to stop digging up her stuff and with in two weeks the west garden at her place had been turned into grass. with in a year the back garden had been turned into grass and the east garden fence had been torn out and a big ugly wood fence which ended the view of my parents beautiful yard had been installed. Fact is, the new people will not want many of your plants so if you will use them take them!!!! NOW

  4. It will look spectacular when you're done! I've been thinking of something similar for a vegetable garden area. Will you fill the bottom of these tubs with gravel or other material or even a false bottom so they won't take so much dirt to fill? I'm still in the planning stages for mine and want to make sure the zinc in the tubs won't leach into the veggies before I purchase them. I suppose you could also line them with a plastic tarp first. Just thinking out loud here.

  5. Diana from SC3:52 PM

    So exciting planning the flowerbeds. Just got back from Lowe's with more plants. It has turned cool and rainy here in SC so next week will be outside working in sections of the flowerbeds. Hanging baskets ready to the put out on hooks. Have fun.

  6. Looking forward to seeing your progress with this. I'm sure it will be lovely!

  7. We use a tub like that as a water garden! This is quite the project!

  8. I have been following your blog for a while, and now your move. We are also planning a move and I am looking for encouragement on how to do this and not have a melt down. We too have extensive gardens which will not be possible at the new house. Too much shade and small back yard which backs up to a river -yeah! We don't have the health problems, yet, just need more room. It is an older house so there will be renovations needed, to make it work. Just need some good cheerleading on how to make the move. And can't wait it see your new yard!

  9. Happy Easter to you both. Already you're making your mark on your new home! I look forward to following its progress. Will you need shade? You get pretty serious heat there in summer don't you? Do you have fast growing trees, or Sails (do you call them sails - those canvas shade cloths anchored at various points)?

  10. Anonymous2:51 PM

    I don't know how you will make a garden out of those ugly tubs but if anybody can do it, it's you. Good luck. vj kohout

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