Those of you following our adventures in Tennessee will know that wood chips are a constant theme in our gardens. Mostly free from the local town recycle stations, but occasionally we have paid for them too. Once again we are having mulch days here and this time we really mean it. This was the first truck load and the big boy got stuck in our mud and had a dickens of a time getting out again. The second truck load was much easier and he stayed mostly on the driveway, to be sure.
Doesn't it look lovely? We can walk anywhere without getting stuck in mud! And the fence is up!!! Yay! That means I can let the dogs out and not worry that they will wander away. Double Yay!!
You will note that the fence is partial here. The pots of plants are at the end of our driveway and the dogs won't even try to jump over them. We won't be having the fence extend any farther because this is where the fish pond will be built; above ground, three courses of concrete blocks lined with a heavy rubber liner, and visible from the patio. It isn't the very next thing on my list so for a while the pots will close off this entrance. We do have a gate in the fence for entry.
Here's the rest of the fence which surrounds the whole yard. Pretty invisible but high enough to do the trick to keep the boys in. In front of the fence is a planting berm for our hydrangeas and hostas. It rained like crazy just as the job was finished so I will wait til it is a bit less wet to plant.
I have been studying gardening videos on You Tube, mostly Charles Dowding an innovator of No Dig gardening and followers like Paul Gautschi and his film Back to Eden, and I have gained the confidence necessary to embark on this huge garden for the remaining years of my life.
For example, this area below between our fence and our neighbor's is a pathway which surrounds the patio garden. It is always shady and muddy. Now with the wood chips and in the autumn lots of leaf litter, it will become a productive area for woodland plants and my beloved hosta collection. The depth of the chips will prevent weeds and break down slowly to improve the soil below.
As with all my gardens, I prefer to have raised beds, but that doesn't mean the garden is contained only in those beds. Already I have planted peonies and daylilies in front of the patio, in a little berm of good soil.
This area was where the pile of debris had been and now it is holding the remaining chips, soon to be distributed up our hill, behind our bamboo and along the rest of the path. But wait there's more. A series of four long raised beds are going to be built here for my veggie garden. It is a very sun baked area which will do very nicely for things like watermelon, peppers, tomatoes, and of course zucchini!