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The Not-So-Instant Garden

It takes time after a long winter to bring a garden back to some semblance of order. After all, it spent months looking like the little garden of horrors; it’s going to require at least a few weeks to make it look like the Garden of Eden, or at least less like something you’d find in the Adam’s Family’s backyard.

As I look out into my patio garden, I see nothing but work, work, work, toil and backaches ahead. In upcoming blog posts, I’ll chronicle what this endeavor involves. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to look away, but I hope I can inspire you to keep at your own garden pit of hell. Because, unlike some things, a garden needs effort to look good. 

Various stages of my patio garden: 

image of patio garden with low mow grass
My low mow grass experiment

Black fabric over low mow grass

I’m killing off the low mow grass that seemed like such a great idea at the time—until excessive spring rains made the roots soggy. Until the fungus moved in because it loves a damp climate. Until the gnats and white flies joined the party.

Here’s my list of tasks to do for the next few weeks. These are things that I have to do by myself. Because I’m not Martha Stewart. I don’t have “people.” It’s just me and my back against the elements.

My vision is to simplify my patio garden and give it a bit of a mid century modern vibe because that’s the style of the interior of my house.

First I’ll divide my garden into work sections. I’m not going to do the entire garden in one day—one section at a time. It’s not going anywhere overnight.

1. Once the black weed mat has done its deed, I’ll pour a fairly good layer of small smooth pebbles in a way that will kind of flow through the area. I might try areas of different colored pebbles.

2. I’ll place round or square pavers throughout the pebble area in a thoughtful way. Meaning I’ll think about it once and move the pavers several times.

3. Some of the plants that are growing along the fence will be moved to create some visual interest among the pebbles.

4. I’ll plant groundcovers here and there among the pavers—probably Veronica and thyme. If I can source some pussytoes, I’d definitely want some in there.   

5. Whichever plant looks like it won’t make it, I’ll go ahead and have a short memorial service and then pull the plant out of the ground and toss it into the compost.

6. I’m having a water feature installed soon and still have to decide where to put it. I’ll have to move the bird feeder because the customers keep spraying bird seed in a wide perimeter.

7. If I can find a cool MCM metal screen divider, I’ll probably place that as a boundary between the patio garden and my vegetable garden, which is around the corner.

No gnomes. Sorry. Stay tuned.

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