The downside of all this thriving is the grass (ie weeds that form what we affectionately refer to as our ‘lawn’) is also growing… like… well… weeds.
I find myself walking across the yard and see a particularly obnoxious weed staring me in the face, grab my grandpa weeder* thinking “I’ll just pull up this one, oh, and maybe that one…” and an hour or more later I’m still pulling up weeds.
This is the time of year you need daylight savings just to keep up with the garden!
However, its also the time of year when things begin to look amazing. This afternoon I mowed and was thinking how I need to get out the brushcutter (tomorrow is another day!) when I looked at the embankment and realised how my dream is finally coming true.
Do you remember when I first conceived of the embankment? When we moved here the driveway was just a slope, directing rain down onto the ‘lawn’ and under the house. We got the driveway levelled, put in a retaining wall alongside the house and were left with a really steep embankment which I thought would look lovely covered in flowers.
But the soil there is like cement – hard clay. So I figured I could make it work if I used old tyres, filled them with dirt to give the plants something to grow in till they could find their way into the cementlike dirt below. Its been a long, tiring project, but its finally beginning to look like I envisioned.
Take a trip down memory lane with me.
At this stage everyone said it wouldn’t work. The tyres would slide down. The weight of the tyres, filled with dirt, when wet, would create an avalanche.
There’s still tons of work to do. I need to weed for one thing. And trim frost bitten bits. Plus I’m always moving plants. Some of the plants are growing over smaller ones in nearby tyres so they will need to be moved, or left to peek through gaps. Eventually I want it to be so well covered you can barely see the tyres.
I’m a lousy gardener… hit and miss is the way I work. I put things in the ground and it turns out they’re the wrong size for where I put them (it doesn’t help when I get things without labels and have no idea what they are!). For example I was given some poppy seeds. They were labelled ‘big’ ‘small’ and ‘medium’. I had them in pots on separate tiers of a plant stand, small on top, big on bottom, medium in the middle. But I had no idea how big ‘big’ was… Till a lady told me they were iceland poppies and I googled them. They’re HUGE. I had to move a couple of them….
There are still quite a few tyres to fill with dirt, plants or both. And more succulents to move. But the embankment beginning to look like I wanted it to… a mess of plants all growing up to and around eachother.
Meanwhile, the rest of the garden is blooming as well. My anemones came back this year – I have my own method: In early spring I cut off dead flowers to encourage more blooms. At the end of the summer I let them go to seed and spread seeds in the garden beds.
Works for me.
I swear I never bought these flowers. Yellow/orange ranunculus…. The packet I bought was blues, pinks and whites. Wierd. But pretty.
Between these and the poppies which could be any colour, I think my plan of a limited colour palette in my garden has flown out the window.
Love the tulips. These are part of a section of tyres filled with bulbs. I’m thinking I’ll sprinkle alyssum seeds in the tyres as well so there’s something in them all through summer.
So there you go.
I’ll get more photos when more things are blooming later. Its a promise.
* A grandpa weeder allows you to weed standing up, using your foot on a long handled tool to pull up weeds. I love it!