Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Herb Garden and My Many Rocks

The herb garden has been completed!  Well, the construction of it has been completed, there are no herbs planted yet.
It started out life as a barked area next to our deck. 

This had been nearly inaccessible before I trimmed back the overgrown bushes.  The undergrowth took a good 8' of usable yard away, so it had to go.  After all, I had a nice new cedar fence built, may as well see it!

Under the bark was heavy black plastic sheeting. I have found this sheeting under nearly every  planting area, in the front and back yards.  It is even under the cedar trees, partially up the trunks, held down with rocks.  This can't be good for the trees.  I spent, and am still spending, hours of my time digging it out, tearing it up, and in any way trying to remove it.  It didn't even keep down weeds, as in many areas it was covered with bark, which had rotted away, making a perfect growth medium for weeds!  I will admit they had shallow roots and were easily pulled.  But, plastic sheeting everywhere!

So, the plastic was removed from the herb garden area, and I raked most of the bark away.   Besides black plastic, the yards (front and back) contain a multitude of rocks.  Small river rocks, large decorative rocks, lots and lots of pumice rocks, flat rocks left over from edging beds and for walkways, just a lot of rocks!  Rocks around beds of smaller rocks.  Rocks camouflaging the boards under the deck.  There are even piles of rocks in front who's sole purpose seems to be a failed attempt to keep roses from growing.  I managed to organize the rocks in a fairly attractive fashion in the front yard, bordering the planting area near the sidewalk. 
So, rocks...
They make a great edging for herb gardens!  And I wouldn't have to buy a single one!  I could have built the entire thing from pumice, but there were so many other, more attractive rocks in the yard. The old existing rose bush (Sterling Silver I think) already is bordered by pumice.  Did the former owners collect it, or get a delivery?  I don't know, but I do know their daughter lived in the house next door for a time, and the current owner has rocks and black plastic in his back yard too!

Fortunately a teenage son can move rocks better than his mother!  He loaded some from out front (the side of the house is "paved" with rocks) and rolled larger ones from under the cedar trees.  I left an opening for our garden cart to bring in the soil (yes, I still have soil in my driveway...).  It took 6 or 7 loads to fill the base level of the bed.  I then added another tier to it, and added another 2 loads there. 
More decorative rocks will be added at planting time.  That will be a sunny day this next week.

The only problem now is keeping our Goldendoodle from blindly plodding across it.  His long gangly legs and his brain don't seem to communicate with each other.  "Edward, get out of there!" is a common refrain. 

(Oh, in case you think I exaggerate about the rock situation...)

rocks surrounding smaller rocks...

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