Walkway phase III

Today I finish up the walkway project. In part one I dug it and laid most of the stones. In part two I finished the details and filled the cracks. So what's left?

Planting beds! I've been jealous of the front yard gardens of some of my gardening friends in other parts of the country like Gerhard, Scott, and Loree -- their plantings give the neighborhood and passersby so much to admire. I want something like that! That's part of the reason that this walkway finally got built after 20 years: new planting beds!


The first step was to remove the turf:

I did this Saturday evening after getting the walkway finished. Yes I was tired, but I knew it wouldn't take too long.

Either my lawn has terribly shallow roots or I'm remarkably efficient with a square-edged spade, but this was quite easy to do. Which left the Sunday morning schedule clear for digging:

The weather this weekend was perfect for all of this work: sunny, dry, and cool. A little breeze to help keep me from overheating too much.

Notice that I didn't disturb the soil right next to the walkway. I wanted to leave it intact so the gravel base stays as tightly in place as possible.

This soil was quite compacted. I guess 40 years of foot traffic does that.

Next in: compost and manure. Loads of it.

This one end near the sidewalk had lots of small tree roots in it, which made digging more of a chore than it should have been:

Closer to the house on the same (south) side of the walkway the soil had much more moisture in it:

That surprised me a bit, but it's good to know as it will help me in siting plants: the ones that need more water will go over here. Still, it wasn't sticky-wet, and the soil clumps crumbled nicely.

With the soil all loosened and amended, I brought out the plants:

I knew there was a good reason that I was hoarding plants on the driveway in back! I did buy a few new ones too, but those were my first plant purchases since June so I didn't feel too guilty.

I set the pots out and started arranging. It was difficult to remember that this spot gets full, blazing sun during the height of summer, as right now the trees provide quite a bit of shade. I'll see next year if I got everything sited correctly.

The problem with having two or three dozen potted plants to get into the ground is that you actually have to get them into the ground. This took me a couple of hours. I didn't take photos, as they would have been boring.

Here's the final result though:

I planted mostly perennials, but there are some annuals and tropicals in here too that I'll need to overwinter indoors (if I want to have them next year). I left space for more stuff next year too. I'll take a closer look at the plants later this week.

I am more than pleased with the fruits of my labors!

Here are before and after shots, in case you've forgotten what this looked like earlier this month (I know I have already):

Just a slight difference, eh?

For those who commented that this project suggests that I should reverse my blog name, you're missing the point. Yes, some of the projects are a lot of work, but when it's something that you love doing and the results are so satisfying, how can it be called "work"? So yes, it's not work, it's gardening!


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Teri  – (September 24, 2012 at 9:50 AM)  

Very nice! Love the way you've made it look as tho it's been there all the time.

Anonymous –   – (September 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM)  

I always like when folks mix in-ground plantings with pots. Looks great!

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (September 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM)  

What an incredible transformation! I love what you did here and I guarantee you that lots of people will stop and inspect your new walkway and flower bed. You've probably inspired more people in your neighborhood than you will know.

Sylvanna  – (September 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM)  

I suspect you'll have passersby using that walkway to come compliment you!

Rock rose  – (September 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM)  

Yikes, when you do a project you really get at it. Marvelous and so finished.

sandy lawrence –   – (September 24, 2012 at 3:10 PM)  

Great transformation!

danger garden  – (September 24, 2012 at 5:35 PM)  

Wow! Love it, more plants is always a good thing...you really know how to make it happen!

Barbie  – (September 25, 2012 at 5:04 AM)  

Oh WOW!!! I am also amazed at the magical results! Love the choice of plants and grasses - they go so well together. Well done! Gives me motivation to work on the chicken run area that needs a face lift! :-)

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