Rain Garden Success!

IMG_3947.JPGThis photo taken 6 months after the installation says a lot but I will share some details.  Spring flooding leaves standing water in the two backyards for days on end. As you can see, the Japanese Maple has not leafed out yet.  The homeowner has invested over three years into cultivating an all organic, lush lawn. She had sump pump work done in her basement and to her horror the water was directed to dump into the back yard instead of draining into the front. Her small dog enjoyed wading through the water but a solution was in need.  The neighbors plan to start construction and remove the chain link fence as well.  Their solution will complement this one, including the continuation of the slab stone walkway through the garden for the kids and dogs to enjoy.

A small box culvert was installed in the middle of the lawn with down spouts directed to it to add more drainage to the saturated site. I designed a dry creek bed next to the sump pipe (now hidden by the slab stones) to drain the water into a rain garden.   Sitter style stones dot the way to crate the illusion of an actual creek bed as well as giving a seat. Sedge grasses dot the creek bed and Rush was installed in the rain garden. I wanted to keep clean lines and complement the lush lawn with grass like plants.  I plan to pop over late summer to see how much the Soft Rush has grown in the rain garden.

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Spade Edged Bed

Do you ever wonder how to keep the grass out of your planting beds?  No fancy gadgets needed for this one, just the ordinary garden shovel. Turf grass spreads by the underground root system. The best way to combat the intrusion of grass in your beds is to create a void in the lawn around your beds with air. Thats right. Air.  The roots will not attempt to grow in the open air.

Take your garden spade, and dig out the soil all around your bed. That soil waste gets pretty heavy so have a wheel barrel to receive it.  You can use this soil/grass combo to fill in those low spots in your lawn you have been cursing.  You are creating a crisp edge that will define your garden space from the lawn.

The key to the longevity of a spade edge bed is keeping debris out of it. Mulch, grass clippings, leaves can settle in this void and create a wonderful environment for the grass roots to spread right on over to your bed. Keep it tidy with a soft rake and remember to dip your lawn mower wheel in the trough slightly to keep that turf under control. IMG_4441IMG_4442IMG_4443

Creating Memories

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Sunflowers are bright, bold and beautiful. Above all they bring memories of my life. Being 10 1/2 months pregnant and cutting sunflowers to bring indoors for the birth of our son, watching with anticipation as my younger children wait for their planted seeds to grow, the finches eating the seeds and this photo are a few.

I have spent time with many families wanting to bring beauty, harmony and memories onto their property with landscape ideas and plans. This happy photo and post is dedicated to those who have shared their space and allowed me to help plan their memories. Thank you.

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Spring Start Up

DSCF0026Do you have a nice landscape like this one here but feel like it needs just a little bit more? My secret to the best spring project? Edge and mulch. Thats right, just spade edge your beds and top dress your mulch. Stand back in enjoy the neat and tidy look of your property.

Remember that mulch needs to be under 3″ deep. If you have that much already just fluff it with a hard rake. Creating a spade edge along your beds helps to define the area and keep turf grass from creeping into your planting space. Add a few annuals or potted plants and enjoy!

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Start With A Plan

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Get organized and start this growing season off with a plan. Knowing what you would like to accomplish this year will help you develop a game plan for moving forward. I am a professional and still have to remind myself every spring to get organized before I even think about going into a nursery to look at the plant material.

What are your long term goals? Building a deck or patio, installing a vegetable garden or creating curb appeal are all big projects.  Figure out what you need, set a budget, shop around and then implement. What are your short term goals? Sprucing up your existing deck or patio, adding to your existing garden or landscape beds? Find a color scheme for paint, pillows, annuals and create your style this year. Try heirloom vegetable seeds or plants and see if the flavor really is better.

I encourage you to embrace spring and move forward with confidence and enjoy planning. I offer consultations and make over workshops if you need advise. Follow this link for more information. https://shannonbrewster.wordpress.com/about/