full sun gardening

Extending another bed and planting soft touch hollies

carissa holly Bismarck border bed

There’s one part of my yard, behind the loropetalum hedge and under the beautiful Bismarck palm that is in a tight space that is tough to mow. The riding lawnmower is too big to get into the space, so it has to be mowed with the push mower. To make it easier to maintain, I want to dig the grass (and weeds) out. Well, okay, maybe I just need more room for plants, especially roses!

In today’s project, I extending the bed yet again, and have a clearer vision now of how I want to incorporate the entire length of the loropetalum into the garden border, jump the path, and extend the theme over to the electrical pole area.

before garden bed expansion
before the expansion of the garden bed and planting of bermuda spice rose and soft touch hollies

This project required me to dig up only two, very heavy, full wheelbarrows of grass, dirt and weeds. At first, I expanded just enough to plant the bermuda spice rose. However, I knew I’d experience scope creep and ultimately take out all the grass around the barbados cherry and undulate up the right side of the dead stump. Since I had limited dirt and plants today, I set out to finish just this smaller section.

I feel it’s important to make a clean dig and lift the grass out without dropping weed seeds or leaving pieces behind that can reroot. That’s why I remove the existing dirt instead of just turning the soil. That way, I can fill it with clean topsoil, and cross my fingers that it has no weeds in it either.

Here you can see the woodland’s edge with all the dirt I’ve removed since this garden project has begun. This is just a section. You can’t see all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into creating these mounds! 😉

Back to the garden bed, I shaped it simply by eyeballing it and digging a pleasing shape. I purchsed soil from a local rock center and haul it on my trailer. I make sure to put it on a tarp, 1. to keep it in the trailer on the ride home but 2. because it’s easier to clean out the truck bed, roll the dirt into manageable piles when it’s nearly gone, and drag out the rest of it when it’s light enough to do so.

Once I filled the hole with good topsoil, it was ready to bring on the plants. I did wind up pruning the clump of roots on the soft touch hollies just a tad.

And for the most rewarding part of all, the final mulching! Well, at least for now. This was just a small section. I have at least two more similar expansions to go! Stay tuned and happy gardening!

at the beginning of the renovation
after the renoation (still more to come!)
before garden bed expansion bismarck palm with daylilies and hollies

Bismarck palm bed expansion

expanded the bed of daylilies and bismark palm to include the barbados cherry and new bermuda spice rose and clarissa hollies.

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