New Garden Beds

You may want to begin with a small project. Ideally a simple garden in full sun, shaped to suit the existing landscaping. I created a bed like this last year. This is the story. The area you will view is at the back of my property and several neighbours began using the grass as a depository for their pets. Due to the fact that it is out of view from windows and doors the location is ideal. However I am faced with a serious problem. The grass is constantly killed and seeding all summer is not a joy. Also there is a hydro pole in the grass which is close to the sidewalk again another luring quality for pets.

I thought of hedges, fences, rocks, edging material but could not devise a solution to my problem. One night I spoke with my sister and she informed me that her dog was digging up one of her perennial beds. She had tried numerous products to no avail. Then she read an article about deterring pets from flowers and decided to try the tip. She planted shrub roses around the perennial bed and guess what? Her dog attempted his trick of digging up perennials only once after the roses were situated. He was not injured but certainly surprised at the thorny specimens protruding from the garden.

With this thought in mind I knew that one side needed a shape, perhaps a nice curve as the rest of the garden borders on a hedge, fence and sidewalk. The curve is created and the soil is removed. As you can see from the graphics below the actual design is not that difficult. Removal of the weeds is probably the most tedious but digging out this area, removing the sod and planting the roses took one day.

Creating New Gardens Creating New Gardens

The pictures above demonstrate the mess encountered when removing sod but the clean up is quick and easy. While digging on one side the earth is tossed to the other end. Your wheelbarrow is a valuable asset for this type of project. As you can see the hydro pole is another problem as it is almost centred in the garden. Before the area was created I thought about this pole and how to deal with a huge concrete eyesore in the center of the garden. My first thought was a vine and I have admired the Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia durior) as it is such a vigourous climber. The huge, heart-shaped dark green leaves form a dense screen and the vine has small blossoms hidden under the leaves.

After the sod and weeds are removed the area is ready to level. New soil can be applied and plants purchased. Your garden should look like the picture below. Keep your tools in one area and keep off the levelled garden, as you don't want to create pockets in the new bed.

Creating New Gardens

I started with the roses. I chose extremely hardy shrub roses and planted six by the sidewalk. They are fringed magenta flowers which are continually in bloom from June until heavy frost. They make an ideal hedge or border and are named Grootendorst Supreme. They are hardy from zone three to nine.

Creating New Gardens

Okay it is time to choose a variety of species and decide where to place each plant. I am never quite sure at the beginning but know it is easy to transplant and propagate from other gardens so this is how the garden looked within a month. My sister gave me clippings, some were purchased and others moved about from my existing gardens. It is amazing how quickly a new garden takes shape. As the plants spread and the season progresses the new garden takes on an established look brimming with colour and variety.

Creating New Gardens

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