Garden Teaser

Where oh where has the summer gone? Finally, I am posting some snapshots of the garden! I say "snapshots" because the garden is still a work in progress which I assume it will be for some time to come. But that is a good thing. Completion is satisfying, but the process, for me, is equally as important.

Consider this a preliminary post.  There are so many changes that have happened in the yard since May that I feel the need to focus first on the big picture now and then post about specifics later. 

Of course the most obvious change is the monster cedar hot tub. It's huge and everything we'd hoped it would be. At 10 feet in diameter and 4.5 feet deep, it is a very large element to gracefully incorporate into a city lot. 

My objective is to have as lush a yard as possible to soften the visual impact of this giant thang. I am going for a very low key, wild looking garden. Like as close to a scruffy meadow as would be possible in this lot, with vines and large grasses as visual counterbalances. I have absolutely no idea what I am doing (almost), but my objective is to keep the garden looking like all the elements belong together.

Around the tub I planted a circle of maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'). Those tufts will grow to be as tall as the tub in the next year or so. The tub is Alaskan yellow cedar which will grey nicely, I think it'll be prettier when it has aged a bit.

In the main area of the garden, I planted Santa Barbara Daisies (Erigeron karvinskianus), with which I've previously had great success. They spread like crazy and I'm hoping to eventually have a big thick carpet of it that will withstand some walking and Calvin laying in it. The goal is to have zero dirt showing -lush, and casual but positively not a lawn.

It took me about three full days to plant the daisies and grass. The daisies have doubled in size since getting in the ground which has me very happy. I've had to do a lot of daily weeding because I've got a lot of the mange grass that was previously here popping up. I'm trying to pull it before it goes to seed and we start the process all over again. I do enjoy plucking grass sprouts, I will admit.

On the other side of the walkway next to the raised planter, I planted a large amount of Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissima), which should get all big and brown and feathery. That shit is pretty invasive so it will spread throughout the garden. In the past the daisies have dominated the grass, so I'm curious to see what happens here. As part of this project, I also moved two apple trees which miraculously survived! They are in the area between the shed and the hot tub not shown in these pictures.

In the rear, by the shed, (but hidden in this photo by the lovely trampoline) I planted a bunch of beautiful ferns and am planning to shitcan the creeping fig on the concrete retaining wall for Muehlenbeckia axillaris -a crazy fast growing wire vine. Creeping fig is supposed to grow at a maniacal rate but I've had no such luck and am finally tossing in the towel. The Muelenbeckia will require some chicken wire, which I'm still determining how to affix in an non-impactful way to the concrete.

Lastly, I re-installed the string lights across the yard (but not over the tub). Love them. Early evening seems to be Kit's favorite time to soak and the lights make it very cheery. 

On my immediate to do list is a enclosure for the heater and electrical boxes, a stair for the tub (currently using a aluminium step latter), and a trellis for some potato vine on the fence. That list, btw, doesn't even include the stuff I'd like to make for the patio area and banquette, which also has me inspired and excited.

Cheers and happy end of summer. I'm hoping mine stretches out until the end of October.

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