Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shade Garden Before & After

We FINALLY tackled the one clean-up project that for some reason or other we've been putting off all summer long. Oh, there's a whole list of clean-up projects we haven't gotten to, but this one really got out of hand.

Earlier this season we decided we wanted to expand the shade garden. Nothing major, just reclaim a few more feet of lawn over to the shady side.  We scavenged some very large cardboard boxes and laid them down over the grass we wanted to remove. We bought some mulch but never got around to spreading it out. So we just piled the bags of mulch on top of the cardboard. As the summer went on we scavenged some cinder blocks and bricks--and they piled up around the bags of mulch. Then at some point this area became the impromptu potting shed--pots, dirt, plants waiting to be transplanted all ended up piled on top of the bags of mulch. This is what greeted anyone who came down the hill.


Here's another view of our incomplete project. Not very inviting, is it?


Because of the mess, and the acrobatics required to get to the chairs, we didn't spend much time sitting in the shade garden this summer.

When we finally started moving things around, we found some interesting things. Hello there!


There are lots of HUGE worms burrowing in the cardboard. And a mushroom growing inside one of the cinder blocks.


After a few hours of work...  Ta Da!



The chairs are together now, which feels much better. Also, we no longer have to beware of stepping on plants while sitting in the chairs. Curmudgeon noted that we now have space for a few more plants. I think a few more hellebores and perhaps a daphne may join the garden soon.

Here's a view of the planters all nicely tidied and lined up under the lilac.


So now that the shade garden is beautiful, of course we've having cooler temps and heavy rains.  Sigh...  So much for sitting out there now.

--Curmudgeon & Wing Nut


Daphne said...

Hopefully you will have a few nice days to enjoy it since it looks so nice now.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Great job the area looks really nice.

our friend Ben said...

Wow, what a before and after! (And all those nice earthworms, too!) And of *course* there's room for a few more plants. Isn't there always?! Enjoy your shady new space!!!

Northern Shade said...

There's nothing like a layer of fresh mulch to give everything a clean, cohesive look. It makes a great canvas on which to imagine your plantings. You can sit outside (maybe with an umbrella?) and plan the next additions. I think the hellebores will look lovely.
Your hosta with the white edges under the tree looks good.

JamesA-S said...

You are to be congratulated on the health, vigour and general lusciousness of your earthworms.

Annie in Austin said...

Having all the stuff piled up didn't look bad, WWWenches... just sort of hopeful that something good would eventually happen...and this way time and nature did some of the work!

The mulch looks great, but is there a reason the chairs face the wall with their backs unprotected? (Guess I've read too many feng shui books. Or maybe too many Westerns.)

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Libbys Blog said...

It all looks lovely now, but I'm curious why would you be facing a wall and a fence? is the veiw the other way worse???lol!

The Gardeness said...

Isn't it wonderful to have an area cleaned up though? It looks lovely. Think of all the time you'll spend there next year!

garden girl said...

Awesome Wenches! It looks fabulous!

Love your use of cinderblocks. They'd work great as borders for my future veggie garden. The holes could be filled with dirt and used as little planters. Hmmm. . . I like that idea! Thanks for the inspiration!

Philip Bewley said...

I love seeing the before and after. You have made it seem so inviting. I love the cat sculpture.
Warm regards,