I hate mowing. I don’t mean that I hate mowing the lawn personally…I do…but that’s not what I’m talking about. The mower is stinky and loud. It eats up precious family time on the weekends or evenings. It’s bad for the environment. Blech. I just hate it.
Anyway, last summer I wanted to learn to put in some plants to reduce the amount of yard that Tommy had to mow. The first thing that came to mind was our side yard. It is a narrow sloped patch on the side of our driveway. I have mowed our lawn before…and it’s definitely the most annoying part to do. It’s a tight fit, and it’s sloped…and really it needs to be edged with a weed whacker. Tommy doesn’t do weed whacking…and I only occasionally pull out the stupid little electric one that I bought. As an aside this little electric weed whacker sounded awesome when I was looking at the label in the store, but it only holds a charge for about 10 minutes of whacking…That gets about 1/16th of our yard edged.
Have I mentioned yet that while I’m an avid gardener, I despise yard work? Okay, well there you have it. I only like the fun stuff in the yard…There I said it. But I digress. Anyway, last year I wanted to make the grass on the side of the house and driveway go away.
Oh right, but last year I was ginormously pregnant you say? I have a rather nice husband who wielded a spade for me last summer in the hot months of July. I had him tear out every inch of grass from the fence to the front of the house.
Then I planted a comfrey plant…Okay, to be honest, yes I did plant the comfrey, and by plant the comfrey I mean that I supervised Tommy as he went out at 2 pm on the hottest Sunday of July last year. My parents had a comfrey plant in an undesirable location in their backyard, and so we had agreed to take it off their hands. My Papa and Mama had assured us that there was no earthly way that you can kill a comfrey plant, and so Tommy had headed out back with a skeptical look on his face.
At this point you have to understand the level of self sacrifice that Tommy was making for me. He doesn’t care about gardening or plants or landscaping in the least. So he dug down a good 18 inches into the soil and pulled up the crowns of the comfrey plant. When I have heard people talk about crowns in the past I thought that meant that the roots were sort of disk shaped…but no…they are just kind of fat and long. The comfrey roots sort of resemble dandelion roots, except that they are very dark colored…almost black. Now I wish I had taken a picture of that step.
Then he dug a big hole on the side of our house, and I put the plant in, put some dirt around it and watered. The plant completely wilted and looked dead for a couple of weeks after that, but as you can see from the picture above, it came back and even bloomed at the end of last summer.
So in addition to the comfrey I also put in some creeping thyme and a couple of stepping stones where Tommy had taken all of the grass up. Last….and least, I put in some creeping Jenny…that I haven’t even ever photographed.
I dusted my hands off and thought, well, my work here is done. I have planted some awesome plants, gotten the grass out of here, Hahaha. No more mowing on the side of the house. So I decided to expand my efforts I had everything set from the fence, all along the side of the house. Now it was time to extend those efforts along the driveway. I planted a bunch of flowers on the edge of the driveway. Pretty wildflower type flowers that you aren’t supposed to be able to kill (Note the foreshadowing).
Yeah, that was all overly ambitious wishful thinking. I kept weeding and weeding and the grass from the neighbors side yard just kept coming back. I was doing pretty well with the weeding up until September when I just could not physically get down and weed anymore. And that grass that
we Tommy removed is some sort of extreme survival grass.
Fast forward to this year, and now on the side of the house we have grass interspersed with comfrey, thyme and creeping Jenny…It’s depressing and I never go back there, and the super tall grass sort of looks like it’s supposed to be like that. You know, like those ornamental grasses that are so popular right now. Right?!….Sure.
Oh yeah, and those beautiful wildflowers I planted? None of them survived the summer except for the balloon flowers (see why they’re called that?). Grace and I planted them near Grace’s strawberries.
So after all of the side yard failure from last year, I was determined to start where I was finding some success. Even though it was kind of in the middle of the side yard, and I really didn’t know how to connect it to anything, I started building a bed around this balloon flower/strawberry area this summer. For most of the summer I have been just weeding it once every couple of weeks and encouraging the little strawberry plants that are forming a nice ground cover around the plant. I made a little circle around it with some landscaping brick/stone/concrete thingies. Anyway, this is becoming quite an epic garden tale, and so I think I’m going to have to stop here. However, I will post one spoiler. This little patch of garden is doing great. My neighbors are all commenting to me how much they love it. So I’ll show you a little piece of this pretty little garden bed that I get to see every time I leave the house.
Before I completely close this post today, I would like to ask my readers a question. How is the blog format for you? Are you having an easy time navigating on whatever devices you are using? Is there anything that is missing that would make this reading the blog easier or better? I’m very much new to this, but I want it to be enjoyable to come to the site and easy to follow along. Also, any gardening updates from you out there? I saw an idea on another blog where a lady posted a picture of her garden each week and everyone who wanted to participate was welcome to post pictures to their gardens with links. Is that something that anyone would want to do here? Okay, so that was more like five questions. See you in the comments.