Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Garden Projects

Last December I posted about edging three of our four veggie beds with stone. This past week I did the final veggie bed, so all of the garden beds are now fully edged with stone. That feels like an important step, considering the name of this blog and the fact that our veggie garden is more prominent than in most gardens. There are seven kinds of stone throughout the four beds, plus a couple of more in other parts of the garden, all of it leftover scrap from larger projects.
I’m pleased to have the stonework done, but I’m also really pleased just to have once again used up all of my leftover materials. Yesterday one of our neighbors asked which house was mine, and I was getting a blank look from my initial descriptions, but when I said ‘the one that always has stone piled in the hell strip,’ she immediately knew which house I meant. Not really a good thing. There’s not currently any stone piled there, which feels like an accomplishment, but I’m also now out of spots in the garden that need stonework, so I’m not sure what I’ll do the next time I have leftover materials.

Out of all the sections, my favorite is this mix of tan and gray sandstones, probably because it is so different from what I usually build; I usually don’t mix different kinds of stone and I usually don’t like to see saw cut edges. Novelty has a distinct charm. I’ve had a big list of projects to do in the garden this year (including the garden-shed/blogging-room still waiting for me to finish the stucco) so Anita has taken over vegetable gardening duties. Last year, I started to fill the beds with permanent plants like blueberries, currants, and strawberries, but she’s opening them back up for annual vegetables. This is our first time growing lettuce in two years.

Along with taking over the veggies, Anita tidied up our front porch this week, another long overdue task that included rearranging the containers beside our front door. We’ve had a Brugmansia there for a couple of years, but it was getting tired after years living in a container in deep shade. This Vine Maple is now in its place. It’s a little one that needs a pedestal to raise it up high enough for the space, but it’s a really nice specimen. I think it was the last plant in our garden to leaf out this year, but the foliage is totally worth the wait.

And speaking of containers, one random thing I did with some of the smaller scrap was make this little container. I thought I might use it in the veggie garden edging as a cornerstone or something, but that turned out to be a silly idea; it’s much better as a stand alone little thing. It currently has Scotch Moss in it, but I’m trying to think of a native groundcover that might work. There’s a Mimulus groundcover, M. primuloides, that would look good, but I think it would need constant water and I’m not sure how it would do with the alkaline interior of the container. The native Sedum would probably work, but I don’t think it would contrast enough with the gray stone. Any suggestions about other small native groundcovers?

2 Responses to “Garden Projects”

  1. July 12th, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Gayle Madwin says:

    I like that container! You could try alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides) in it. In the summer the container would elevate it to make the pretty seedheads more visible, and in the winter when the grass looks dead, I guess you could hide the container somewhere out of sight.

  2. July 13th, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    ryan says:

    I’ve never grown that plant and I don’t know anything about growing it, but a grass might be cool. I like the idea of the airy seedheads above it. Thanks.

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