Monday, July 13, 2009

Ready For Planting!

Well Jamie and I got out in the garden this weekend and busted our butts. Our calendar is full for the next two weekends and we knew we had to get this back bed finished. Not only did we get the back bed finished, but we also got the small island bed put in as well. It’s difficult to get an idea of the size of everything by the pictures. To help you with the scale of it all, the small island bed is about 12 to 15 feet long.



The irrigation system has been updated with sprinkler heads to replace the drip emitters that were once under the shrubs. Now, the beds are ready for planting. Jamie and I added almost a half ton of composted manure to the new back bed. We always amend the soil in new beds really well. We usually add an equal amount of topsoil also. In this instance the dirt was in pretty good shape so we didn’t think it necessary. It’s a conservative estimate to say that Jamie and I have added over 6 tons of composted manure and topsoil to the beds that we’ve put in the garden. We’ve also planted almost 400 species of plants in it. One of the biggest problems we’ve faced is what to do with the tons of soil that we’ve taken out 1 wheel barrow and 5 gallon bucket at the time. For every hole that was dug for a plant, there was dirt left over. We also had to remove some dirt from the beds to amend them or else we would have mountains all over the back yard. We have filled stump holes all over the neighborhood! Thank goodness Wade and Jimmy are building terraces in their garden. They’ve taken a lot of it too.


The grass paths that we have left around the beds are 4 feet wide. In their most narrow areas in two or three turns they had to be reduced to just about 3 feet. That’s a little closer than I wanted but we still have ample room to maneuver around the garden. I really love to work in the garden, but I’m not going to lie about it this is one project I am so glad is complete. Whew! Now, on to planting.



Jamie and Randy said...

Yes, I can most certainly say that I am glad we are finished with this bed! It has literally been back breaking work, but it has been so worth it. We're getting tons of rain here today, so I am hoping all the new mulch doesn't wash out into the yard. I guess we'll see.


Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Wow, it's looking gorgeous and lush and inviting! You guys have done a fabulous job, and your efforts have been worth it;-) I'm sure it's a relief to be done with that part! Can't wait to see what you're putting in! I'll try to visit again soon--summer's been a little busy so less blog reading for me;-( Take care!

Roses and Lilacs said...

I love the shape of your beds. Even when nothing is blooming they add a wonderful architectural aspect. Garden designers alway talk about curves leading the eye. You guys have done a super job.

Jamie and Randy said...

We completely understand. Summer and spring is a busy time for all gardeners. I’m glad you like it, we are really proud with the way it turned out. We are going to be concentrating on things that should be blooming now for this new bed in the back.

Thank you so much. I'm just tickled to death with the way it turned out. Pretty good for amateurs, don’t you think? I told Jamie our bed design tends to lean more towards a “Dr. Suess style”. :-) I just love it, the more exaggerated the curves the more pleased we are about it.

Tootsie said...

IT IS GORGEOUS!!!!! It looks fake it is so pretty! nice work friend!

Jamie and Randy said...

Tootsie! You are so funny! Thank you, your beds are certainly just as beautiful. :-)And most certainly more colorful! Thanks again.--Randy

sweet bay said...

You guys have done a lot of work!!! It looks wonderful!

Jamie and Randy said...

Yes we have done a lot of work. But it's wonderful to be able to share it with you guys when we are done and hear your encouraging compliments.--Randy

Lisa at Greenbow said...

All of that butt busting and blister building work has really paid off. Those neat sharp edges of the beds are just to die for. You deserve some R&R the next couple of weekends. Step back and enjoy your hard work.

Jamie and Randy said...

Your right Lisa, we do deserve a break. :-)But that to do list doesn't seem to know that! LOL We are very proud of the new bed though.--Randy

NellJean said...

Well, see, I would have made berms using all that extra soil, but that's just me because I wasn't raised in these flatlands, and I do all I can to create slopes and hills.

Love the grass paths and sharp edges. I have grass paths, but sharp edges are hard for old ladies who have centipede grass. That grass just crawls right on in there before I can make the little trenches to keep it out, once it starts raining.

Frances said...

Hi J and R, so glad you were able to get it finished when you wanted. It looks spectacular. The fun part is definitely the planting. Wouldn't it be fun if that was all there was to gardening? Your island and curving paths look so inviting. Nice to hear your extra dirt was put to good use too. I was going to suggest maybe a berm or two? :-)

Jamie and Randy said...

I run the weed whacker around the edges of them every week. Doing it that often helps keep everything in check. We rarely have to do anything else to them. I’ve been thinking about buying one of those push edgers. I’m still not certain about it though.

Thanks Frances,
You know I’m not sure we could put a berm… and how do you keep the mulch from washing off of them?

perennialgardener said...

What a fabulous job you guys have done. Your garden is gorgeous, like something out of a magazine. Can't wait to see what all you plant in these new areas. :)

Gail said...

Even though it never pays to compare ourselves or our gardens to another..I did with this post! I am a lazy gardener;) You guys are incredible! it's beautiful right now and you haven't planted it out...the beds are beautiful with those curve. Sometimes narrowing a path makes a guest stop and look at a particularly important plant....gail

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow Randy.... It looks TERRIFIC. I know it was alot of hard work--but so worth it I'm sure (now that it's over)... Can't wait to see more and more ---as the garden progresses.


tina said...

It's gorgeous! And no wonder your plants do so darned well with all that compost. Want to send some energy to me?? Some compost too?:)

Jamie and Randy said...

Thank you so much! What a kind comment. We do try, and sometimes have a happy accident. :-) We are starting to get pretty good at this gardening stuff!

I know how extensive your garden is, and you are not a lazy gardener! We are going to try not to overdo it when we start planting the new bed. We have more of a plan with this one. Or at least I do, Jamie tends to let me run with my plans. He’s very tolerant of my ideas when it comes to the garden.

Thank you Betsy,
I hope it all turns out pretty. I’m glad you had a good trip, but it’s nice to see you here again! :-)

I’m a big believer in composted manure. At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, I highly recommend the Evergreen brand that Wal-mart and Lowe’s carry. It’s in a white bag with green lettering and stripes on it. It’s very clean, cheap, has a nice texture and is well composted. I really like it and will use nothing else. I spread it on the lawn in the fall and it absolutely loves it. You will be well rewarded the next summer.--Randy

Jake said...

That look really good and it shows what size the project area is if the island is that big. Can't wait to see what you plant!


flowergardengirl said...

Oh gosh ya'll---it really looks amazing. I could tell it was excellent soil!

Jamie and Randy said...

We are still working on what we’re going to plant. The only thing we know for sure is that we are going to try and go for more impact with color in this bed.

Hey there Anna!
The soil didn’t have a lot of nutritional value to it but, it was a good texture. We have so much clay in some areas of the yard. I’m glad you like the way it all turned out.

Darla said...

THAT needs to be in a magazine!!!

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

That is going to be spectacular when you get the plants in! I too love the sharp edges on the beds. Tell me how you achieve those?

I hope the mulch stays in place and that y'all can enjoy some time off after all that hard work!

Jan said...

Your garden looks wonderful. You guys have done a great job in such a short time. I know it was hard work, but when you stand back and see how good it looks, the work was certainly worth it.

Always Growing

Layanee said...

What fun planting those beds will be.

Jamie and Randy said...

How nice of you Darla! You have some pretty incredible bed yourself!

Thank you very much. We really have done a lot. It hasn’t really soaked in just how much until recently.

It will definitely be more fun planting then digging up grass!--Randy

Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence said...

Wow! Love those curvilinear lines! Just beautiful. Thanks for id-ing by CM Zuni!

Jean said...

Oh my goodness, the beds look great. I was salivating over all the compost you put in there. You'll have a fantastic time planting everything AND, with all that good fluffy stuff, it should be fairly easy to plant!

Kristin said...

Wow ~ your beds look fantastic! You did a great job with the edging. I would be back there reading books on the weekend :-)

Frances said...

To answer your question about the mulch washing off the berm, easy! Plants! :-) I know, always the smart***! Someone's got to do it.


Jamie and Randy said...

You are welcome Helen, I hope we got it figures right. :-)

I’m looking forward to putting some new plants into it. Jamie and I were window shopping in catalogs last night to get some ideas.

Welcome Kristin!
Your blog is a gold mine of information! We are so glad you paid us a visit!

Frances, Duh! Why didn’t I think of that! I feel really silly now. :-)-- Randy

Annie in Austin said...

The very first photo just blew me away, Randy...then I read that the "small" island bed was 12-15' long and my impression of the landscape as a whole had to be upgraded to a larger size! What cool shapes and possibilities you have.

And you've given us a funny mental image of you and Jamie peddling a wheelbarrow full of extra soil door-to-door ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Antigonum Cajan said...

That recently placed turf is it
done with a reel lawnmower, push lawn
mower or trimmer?

Jamie and Randy said...

It's always good to have a visit from you! I'm glad you like the new beds. We are very pleased witht the way they turned out. We pretty much know what we are going to be putting in them, it's just a matter of finding the plants now.--Randy

Jamie and Randy said...

Hi Antigonum,
Welcome! We are always glad to see a new face! That lawn isn’t new turf; it’s the same old grass that’s been there forever. It’s a mix of Centipede, St. Augustine and Zoysia what ever we could get to grow. I just use a regular ole gas powered lawnmower with a grass catcher to cut the lawn, but recently have considered moving to one of the old fashioned reel mowers since we are getting less and less to cut. :-)--Randy

Les said...

Wow! You have worked hard and those beds have been edged to within an inch of their lives. All that space just waiting for new plants, if I had that opportunity, the anticipation would kill me.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

J&R -- LOVE the design! What a wonderful way to shape the beds and so, so perfect with your edges. I don't know how you do it so meticulously!

So sorry that I've been away so long. So much going on here with doing things for family, friends and my travel writing. Also, Grumpy from SL was here yesterday to see the deer resistant garden, so I'd been weeding and watering and tidying up for a few weeks.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Randy, I'm SO impressed. You two have really worked hard. I love it!!!!! Can't wait to see what you plant in the beds.

I know how much work it is since George and I have added our share of flowerbeds around the yard also.

Get some rest now.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I love the curvy edges--is it hard to mow, though? I finally got an edger and am planning to shape the edges of my beds, too--after 7 years! :) Also, nandina is inside and looking great while mock orange is outside n a pot looking very lush.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that you got all that done so fast. I love the small island you put in. When you get your yard done, you can come down here and play with mine. Randy, I know you would love to do it.

love ya carol

mothernaturesgarden said...

Your garden is so neat you must have a great organizational plan for edging.

Nan Ondra said...

A wonderful follow-up to your One Year Ago Today post, you two! I hope that the rains have been kind to your new plantings, and to your mulch as well.

Susan said...

That tornado was devastating but your new garden looks so beautiful. It's amazing the difference in 18 months. I hope your gardening enthusiasm has brushed off on your neighbors, too.

Jamie and Randy said...

Thank you Susan! Unfortunately, none of our neighbors like to garden on the level that we do, but they certainly keep a watchful eye on what's going on in our yard. The past two weeks we've discovered that we do not go as un-noticed as we had thought in the past. :-)--Randy