Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Condo Work Day

I tried to find a before photo, but I haven't taken a lot of photos of the area recently. This was the best I could do. It is really a photo of the peach tree that died. About half the blueberries died too last winter. Even with them, the area was never very pretty. It is right in front of my door and what you see as you enter our yard. So when the blueberries died I decided I wanted a perennial garden in that spot. The blueberries that lived can stay. But the whole corner near our walk is empty. I ran the idea by my condo mates and they agreed, so the project was started.

I'll be planting in the spring, but I wanted to get the hardscaping done this fall. This consisted of a lot of cobblestones. To get it done we scheduled a work day. Which ended up being 10-12. We had trouble scheduling but got all six members of the condo to come. For those that don't know, our lot has a pair of townhouses on the land, two people are on our side and four on the other.

Above is the finished product from my front door. As you can see I put rings around the trees. I don't want any plants within four feet of my precious peach trees. I LOVE those peaches. It also denotes where my townhouse mates can weed. Anything green inside the circle can be taken out. Easy. I'll probably end up weeding the perennial bed in the spring. I know what is plant and what is weed and no one else in the condo can do that.

Here you get a good idea of the spots I have to work with in planning the perennials. These won't be edible - though you never know if one will slip in our not. The area down by the road still has living low bush blueberries - not that you can really see them - so I'll leave those alone. I also have one living blueberry by the end of the path in front of my door.

And we added a little extension from the drivable grass to our path. I've always wanted a path like this with a green river inside. So I'm going to see if I can grow mazus as a ground cover in between the cobblestones. I might pull it off. Maybe. Either that or it will escape its designated spot and take over the world. BTW the bush that you see there is one of my gooseberries. I have two next to it on either side, but I'm trying to grow them as standards and they really don't like me for it. They are growing very slowly and are still small.

All in all the work went pretty quickly. Though I did lay a few cobblestones, mostly I fixed errors in laying. When I told them 4' from the middle of the trunk, I really did mean 4' and not 4' 3" or 3' 10". I don't even need a tape measure to see those errors. When the curves are off it just looks bad.

We did hit one snag along the road. When we moved in the landscapers cut the curve to our driveway and out in the road. Well that section wasn't cut all the way through. Mostly it was fine, as it was far enough down and the cobblestones don't go far into the soil. But in sections it was too high up and we couldn't break it off. So there is a slight change in the curve. It will probably bother me for the rest of my life. I'm not terribly obsessive compulsive, but the artist in me objects to the curves not being correct. `

Kale in the afternoon shade - My garden is shady in the fall

In vegetable garden news it has been pretty slow. I finally got out this week and sprayed the kale and broccoli with a soap spray. I'll have to do it again this week. If I don't, I'll lose my fall harvest of these plants. The kale would still live over the winter and provide food in the spring, but I could use more kale in the freezer. Other than that nothing is happening. It has been a very slow week in the vegetable garden.


  1. The landscaping really looks good. I never could get anything but a circle to look like I wanted, so I mostly stick with square or rectangular beds. Though I messed that up when I did the vegetable garden the first time and it wound up being trapezoidal. The mazus sounds like a pretty choice for the pathway.

  2. I love the curved path. The area will look so nice when green and in bloom.

  3. I'm not surprised that you are protective of these peach trees.

  4. soap spray takes care of what? please tell me cabbage worms! I have always had issues with those. if I can figure out how to keep them away, I would plant about 5x as much kale, cabbage, and broccoli than I already do. I can't keep them sufficiently covered. Ugh!

    1. Sorry no. It won't kill cabbage worms. Soap kills aphids. And mites, but I don't have mites in my garden. You need Bt for caterpillars.

  5. Very nice! I have a whole bunch of projects to do but I keep doing a bit of this and a bit of that and nothing gets finished. I really have to do what you did - one day, one job... and just get it done. Now if only I didn't have so many interruptions (lunch, snacks, homework, mini crisis.....)