In Bed With Teza

OK, I bet that got your attention. Although maybe I should have titled it “Tezas bed”.

We completed a number of projects when we were at Kilbourne Grove on our holidays in October. One of them was to make a new garden bed at the base of the berm, that runs along the edge of our property. The property developer that owned it (for a few months between us and the doctor), had  (basically) a large ditch dug all around  the edge of the property that backed onto the Niagara Escarpment. Wow, that was one run on sentence. This was dug, on the advice of the city of Owen Sound, in order to redirect the runoff from the escarpment. In theory, the water would hit the ditch and be diverted instead of flowing towards the house.  So this left a bit of a berm approx 10 feet away from the property line fence.

On the west side of our property, this berm has been covered with self seeded trees and shrubs, but mostly has a huge thicket of snowberry. Anyone who has the species knows it runs underground, twice  now, I have been forced to dig it out as it has been spreading towards my Kitchen Garden.

I wanted to stop it in its tracks and also build a bed at the base of this berm. Anyone who has read Teza or my blogs knows that he is short of space for his kids, and is always looking for a foster home for them. I thought that he might be able to use this space.

gardenOct09 053

This is what it looked like before we began. I am standing in the Kitchen Garden and looking directly west.

We started by sinking metal strips, approx 2 feet deep, hoping that this will, at least inhibit, the snow berry from moving into this area.

gardenOct09 055

Then, using rocks that we have unearthed while gardening, we began making an edge.

gardenOct09 056

Once again, using my time proven method of laying down newspaper on the sod, and then topping with soil. We then applied a thick layer of mulch to keep the weeds down in the spring.

gardenOct09 057

Here it is, (mostly) finished. This bed measures approx 5 feet x 25 feet.

Do you think that you could fit a few kids in there Teza?

38 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Joy said,

    Deborah .. hum … I’m tapping my toe here while reading this girl .. I have been on the waiting list for some of Puppy’s aka Teza’s kids here myself .. I’m almost ready to poke a sharp elbow in your ribcage girl !!! hahaha
    That was interesting about what had to be done to safe guard yourselves from the run off .. and safe guard your kitchen garden .. my goodness do you know what lengths I would go to , to have a large area to separate it into different gardens girl !!!
    OK .. I will stop harassing you now .. I got up at 5:30 this morning .. the coffee is wearing off .. I won’t admit to anything I have said here now ! hahaha
    Joy 😉

    • 2

      Joy, hope that I haven’t bumped you off the list, I hate queue jumpers.
      Even when I had my small 20 x 90 lot in the Beaches area of Toronto, or my 35 x 152 lot in Kingston, I have always divided them into rooms. I just think that it makes a garden look larger.

  2. 3

    Kiki said,

    Wow..great work!! I always enjoy your posts!! good have alot of nice space to create with!

    • 4

      Kiki, thanks for the compliments. We looked a long time to find an old house with a big garden within driving distance of Toronto. We husband sails and snowboards so we were even more limited as to where we would live. Kilbourne Grove was a god send.

  3. 5

    teza said,

    Imagine my response (shocked delight!) to reading that one of my fellow bloggers felt this way about me!! LOL!! I’m speechless, let me tell you!
    You are wonderful! 5′ x 25’…… do you know how many plants we can fit there? My fingers are twitching with anticipation! I can hardly wait until Spring! I guess this means a trip north will definitely be on the agenda! Now I must make sure to double divide some of the kids…. I saw Joy’s response. Damned squirrels or xhipmunks made hasty work of divisions of my Arisaema this summer. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    PS: What does Ian think of your new sleeping partner. Best let him in on my ‘secret!’

    • 6

      Teza, I do not think that anything could make you speechless! But, I hope that I did surprise you, (although I have to watch out for Joy and her sharp elbows). I can’t wait until you see the place, I have lots more ideas!
      PS: Don’t worry about Ian!

  4. 7

    miss m said,

    Excellent !

  5. 9

    Alice Joyce said,

    Wonderful and inspiring!
    Can’t wait to follow this thread….:~)
    xo Alice

  6. 11

    What an exciting project! I have no doubt you and Teza will inspire each other 🙂

    Lovely idea!

  7. 13

    Wendy said,

    definitely a racy title!! 🙂

    Great step by step account on how to create a new bed!

  8. 15

    I love the idea of a new bed, all ready for planting – can’t wait to see how it looks next year! I have also used the smother sod with newspaper and cover with soil technique. Works great.

    • 16

      Deborah, you are so right. Every bed I have built at Kilbourne Grove has been through this method. The exciting part of a new bed waiting for planting, I can dream all winter about it.

  9. 17

    Mary Delle said,

    A new bed. Lots of room for many new kids. You will have some fun come spring. Hope your edging works on keeping the snowberry under control.

  10. 19

    Grace said,

    Deborah~~ Definitely a titillating title!! What you’ve done here is fabulous! The soil looks so fluffy and friable. The rock edging, you found these rocks in the ground? Amazing. You’ve skillfully transformed an amorphous undergrowth into a tidy-Teza bed. What a nice thing to do for a bedfellow, I mean friend. I look forward to the planting next spring.

    • 20

      Grace, I live to titilate. It is very fluggy at the moment, I am sure there will be a lot of settling over the winter and it will have to be topped up. I have a whole bin of leaf mould earmarked for this bed.
      Yes, all those rocks came from the ground, as well as the stone steps my husband built. They are everywhere.
      I look forward to spring when Teza and I get into (the) bed together. (We’ll take photos!)(Can you post those on the internet, LOL).

  11. 21

    Wow! Five feet by 25! And filled with Teza’s kids! I am absolutely green (or, in a Teza sense, blue) with envy. Lucky, lucky both of you. You’ll have to keep us posted on your plant fostering program.

  12. 23

    Great post (and title!). I’m SO GLAD that I planted a Coralberry instead of a native Snowberry, your tales of woe remind me of the book ‘Attack of the Triffids’. I hope your metal barrier is enough to deter them. I love the new bed you share with Teza, the babies will be very happy there. 🙂

    • 24

      I’m GLAD you planted the coralberry as well, I wish the previous owners had realized how invasive it is.
      I hope that our babies will grow strong and healthy! (Isn’t that what every parents wants!) lol

  13. 25

    Janie said,

    Y’all be nice, now. I want some plant babies too! That Acanthus “Whitewater” on Teza’s blog is to die for. I am going to order it today- zones 7-10. That’s me!

    • 26

      Janie, I once again proved one of the points from my Honest Scrap award, Reading too quickly and not absorbing all the info. I love that Acanthus as well, I am sure not in zone 7-10. Boo Hoo!

  14. 27

    fairegarden said,

    Sex sells! HA How wonderful for you both! It is so gratifying to work side by side with other bloggers in person getting dirty together. How’s that for sexy?

    I can’t wait to see Teza’s reply and what he will plant in there. Excellent job!


  15. 29

    puppyparents said,

    You guys have been doing a ton of work! Hopefully when you go up for Xmas you will have some time to relax! (Although I hear we are in for a green Christmas this year… but maybe Owen Sound will be different!)
    Anyway, miss you tons and can’t wait to catch up soon!

  16. 31

    Painchaud said,

    That is a good size….but you need lots more =)

  17. 33

    Hello Teza,

    I can almost ‘smell’ the new, rich soil. You know, there is just something about a planting bed that is just waiting to be planted. It just makes me want to start planting yesterday…..

  18. 35

    Look at that lovely dirt! I’d be itching to plant things in it, too!

    Thanks for your comment on my squirrel post. I had to laugh about your “squirrel mafia” remark.

    • 36

      Sue, One time I was sitting on my porch and this wave of 9 black squirrels came running out of the forest and through the garden. We have a telephone line that runs along the back fence between my neighbour and our gardens. He calls it the squirrel freeway as they use it to get around.

  19. 37

    Yes, that must have been quite a sight! I’ve been seeing one or two at a time on our wires, but haven’t had my camera out at the time. Once, I remembered it was in my car, but by the time I got it, the squirrel was in the neighbor’s yard.

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