Posts tagged mulch

Stony Ground

Yes, we finally did it. Last autumn we raked up all the mulch from the paths in the Flora Glade. I have long wanted to have pea gravel paths, but as we had a ton of wood chips, curtesy of a tree that blew down in a storm, decided to start with that, after all, they were free. So a couple of years ago, we took up all the grass, and put down the bark.

Then last year, it came up, and a base of limestone screening was put down. What a difference, firm underfoot, dry, I loved it.

 The only thing I did not love was the colour, waaay to white.  But Mother Nature took care of that quickly (with a bit of help from some worms), and the colour dulled down.This spring, (during the short time we were back in Canada), we had some pea gravel delivered.  And working as the fabulous team that we are, Ian and I started to spread it. 

We had pea gravel paths when we lived in Kingston (and they were a very handy warning system when a burglar was trying to break in, but that is another story), but we had laid the gravel to thick.

It was very hard to walk on, so we learned our lesson this time. We only put down one or two inches on top of the limestone. And it worked beautifully, instantly firm and lovely to walk on. And it really finished off the Flora Glade,and made it look much more polished.

Now, I am debating what to do about the Kitchen Garden. A couple of years ago, we took up the grass paths and laid the rest of our bark mulch.

 

I would like to change that was well, but would it be too  much to continue the pea gravel from the Flora Glade? Should there not be a different medium underfoot? What do you think?

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Drip Strip

There is a big drip at my house.  Actually at my garage.  We have a metal roof on the garage and when it rains, the water just pours over the edge of the roof.  We had a bark mulch on the ground beside the garage, and the rain would splash it on the side of the garage, not attractive.

Just a few of the rocks we find, everytime we dig a hole in the garden.

When I was changing the paths in the Flora Glade, we changed this as well.

After raking up the bark mulch we raked the limestone screening smooth.

When it rains really hard, not only do you get splash marks on the garage, but the rain would actually dig a line into the ground. I found a design in a magazine where the homeower had actually made a splash pad to prevent dirt splashing on the side of her house, so I thought that I could do the same with my garage. I used some of the 50 million rocks that we had found over the years and made a narrow strip next to the garage. I only used the cobble like rocks and a few chunks of brick, the larger flat stones we are saving for another project.

Now, when the rain water hurls itself over the edge of the garage roof it hits the cobbles and bounces away harmlessly.  I would love to have some kind of garden beside the garage, but it would have to be herbaceous perennials only, in the winter huge sheets of ice can fall from the metal roof, and they could crush anything in its path. Or maybe I could make a garden around the base of the silver maple beside the garage and just have a narrow path between it and the garage. Or I could espalier something on the side of the garage, or there are the shutters I found at the farmers market…

 I have lots of time to think it over, Ian thinks I have enough garden beds now, and should stop. Is he crazy?

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On The Beach

I am not really on the beach, but every time I look at my new path, it reminds me of sand.  It is not ‘sandy’ coloured, so it must be the texture. I am not sure that I like it, I am hoping after all that work that I just have to get used to it.

When I laid out the Flora Glade, 4 years ago, I used the very lazy mans method of gardening. The lasagna method.  I laid out all my beds with bricks, placed a very thick layer of newspapers down, and then added a deep layer of topsoil.  For the paths, I also laid newspapers, then covered the newspapers with a thick layer of bark chips. I never wanted to leave the bark chips as a permanent feature, but we had a lot of them when a tree came down on our property. So I used them. 

They weren’t a perfect solution. As they decomposed, they turned to soil, which is good, but not for paths, and weeds grew in it, which is also not good.

So last week, I finally did something about it. We changed our paths.

First all the wood chips were raked up, and used as mulch on the existing flower beds. 

 Then I had to weed. Oh, it needed to be done.

Then the stone was wheeled in. I gave this a lot of thought, It might not appear like I did, but I did. There is not a huge selection of places in Owen Sound to get stone for paths, but I went to all of them, and looked at what they had. I decided to get what I call limestone screening, but might also be called stonedust. I had pea gravel paths in Kingston and really loved them, but I found that they were not firm enough under foot. I thought maybe we had laid it too thick, so this time I would have a layer of stonedust under it, and then the peagravel could be a very thin layer over top.

The stonedust was laid down

Do you think Ian deserves a new pair of trousers?

 and raked smooth (kind of) and became firmer the more I walked over it.

The  path is much wider here, although that is temporary. One day we hope to attatch a pergola to the back of the garage. That will be 6 feet deep, and will take the path down to a normal width. The clay pot is there, marking a high tree root. The tree had been cut down before we bought the house, and the stump removed, at least all of it except this one root.

We got rain one day and that really caused the stonedust to pack down, it became as hard as stone, lol.  I am hoping that the weeds will grow much more slowly in this, as it is such a hard surface, but we will see. Maybe next year, we will add the peagravel.

While we were at it, Ian even built a step up between his new pillars.

Before

I was really proud of myself until my dad came by later in the week. I proudly showed him the new paths and felt really pleased until he told me we should have laid the pea gravel at the same time. That way, when it rained, the peagravel would have sank into the stonedust, and when it dried out the peagravel would have firmed up, and it ‘would not roll around so much’. Now he tells me!

I am hoping that I will get used to the pale paths, and they will stop standing out so much, I mean they are stone coloured.  What do you think?

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