Projects Planned

Mid-to-late Spring is the best time to tackle the larger projects in the garden here, as the heat and humidity of the summer haven't arrived yet (on most days). With a holiday weekend approaching for us in the US, my thoughts turn to completing some of these projects.

Which means it's time to make a list for you of what I have planned! This is not only to help me remember what exactly I wanted to do in the garden this year, but to also motivate me to get as many of them done as possible. Announcing my attentions creates a bit more pressure to actually follow through, at least in my mind.


One of the projects that is most urgent is the rebuilding of the stream.

It's been silent and dry all year, as I didn't want to fall into the "it's good enough" trap again like I did last year. The main problem is that the channel wasn't dug deep enough... the edge next to the stairs is too low. Leakage on this side is a constant problem and I have to add water every day or two. I also hate seeing exposed rubber liner, but there's nothing that will stay here to cover it.

So I plan on tearing the whole thing out and digging again, then rebuilding. This is going to take a lot of work, but a thought came to me this morning: why not reduce the size and/or complexity of the stream a bit? So I've got some planning to do. Luckily I can remove all of the rocks and the liner without having a plan in place, as that step is necessary no matter what.

Another high-priority project is the veggie garden fence:

This is the fence that in theory keeps the deer, rabbits, and woodchucks from feasting on my edibles. The closer you get to it, the worse it looks... it's needed replacement for a few years at least. The ropes were added somewhat recently.

That the gate still works is a miracle really. It's loose sticks and chicken wire held together with staples at this point. Ducking under the ropes is a nice way to stay limber.

I've got an idea for a fence that will be sturdy, tall, and attractive. The problem is my veggie garden is sitting on top of a sewer easement, which means that the sewer company can come in at any time and dig the whole thing up. So I can't create anything that's too permanent here. I'm still thinking, but I need to do something before I plant my tomatoes...

There's one more project that needs to be completed fairly urgently:

The path on the south side of the house is now a strip of mud. It was heavily mulched the last couple of years, but one or two strong storms this spring washed it all away. Those steppers help slow down runoff from normal rains, but don't do anything except make little waterfalls during the heavy rains.

I think my only option here is gravel, but I don't think I can construct a dry creek bed properly here -- I'd have to remove too much soil and put down weed fabric under the rocks. Maybe that's what I need to do though. I have to remember that this is also a footpath. Thoughts?

A smaller project that is somewhat urgent but right next to the mud path is this trellis:

It once held a climbing rose so only needed supports for rose canes. Now though there is a young clematis growing here...

...which needs something to grab onto.

I have an idea for this that will look pretty fantastic I think. Note that this is the project that is most likely to get completed first.

Moving on to less urgent projects...

...I still want to build a small deck next to the pond, where the benches are right now.

It would really look great and make this area more useful. I do love sitting and watching the pond, so might as well do it in comfort and with friends once in a while, right?

The biggest project that is planned... a large shed somewhere in this area. 

I'm thinking that the only progress I'll make on it this summer is to remove all of the old logs and generally clear the space so I can start laying out the area. It's been my bamboo nursery area for several years but I'd like to make it a more useful and pretty zone in the garden. 

It will be so nice to get a lot of the tools and pots out of the garage though, so maybe this entire project could actually happen before winter?

Another manageable and fun project: create some privacy screens.

The gap between these bamboos makes me feel exposed and also acts as a deer funnel.

That rose in the foreground doesn't stand much of a chance as it keeps getting pruned.

There are two gaps actually, so two screens are needed. Luckily I have some great ideas about this (and the supplies to actually do it). Maybe this is another project that happens very soon?

I really want to do something to let a little more light under the deck:

I think that I may actually do something about this soon. (And fixing the broken light fixture is not the entire solution.)

Then there are the general every year projects, like making a trellis for my 'Zephirine Drouhin' rose...

...that is finally starting to look good, which means it's beginning to sprawl a bit.

Also creating new planting spaces in the front yard... this corner that is just lawn right now for instance.

Maybe I have too many things planned for 2015?


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Chickadee Gardens  – (May 21, 2015 at 9:05 AM)  

You sir, have quite a garden to-do list. A fun one to tackle, however - one that any gardener would love to take on, I would think. Fun stuff ahead! Thanks for sharing!

outlawgardener  – (May 21, 2015 at 9:24 AM)  

No sitting on the porch, sipping mojitos, and watching the garden grow for you! That's quite a list but all of your projects sound fun. A way to make rocks stay over the plastic liner when they don't want to (mean old Mr. Gravity!) is to use the black foam stuff that the big box and pond stores carry. It sticks to the liner and will also stick to rocks (not boulders, mind you) and hold the two together. The foam can also be used to shore up the parts of the stream that are too low & eliminate the leaking. Might be a lazy solution that would give you more time for the other projects.

Alan  – (May 21, 2015 at 10:07 AM)  

Tamara: Not all of these will be fun, but most will!

Peter: Now you have me thinking about repairing rather than complete rebuilding, and that's so exciting!

Jane Baldwin  – (May 21, 2015 at 10:09 AM)  

Finishing just one or two of those projects would be a big summer for me.
I am looking forward to growing those milkweed seeds you sent me. Thanks so much!

Mark and Gaz  – (May 21, 2015 at 10:50 AM)  

The deck near the pond and the stream, loving the sound of those projects Alan and will be especially looking forward to the progress of both :)

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (May 21, 2015 at 11:06 AM)  

Wow, just reading about all your projects makes me tired. I'd say do the easiest and quickest ones first, otherwise you might get bogged down too much before summer arrives.

Alan  – (May 21, 2015 at 12:21 PM)  

Jane: I love building things, but reality often doesn't meet expectations... hope the seeds grow for you!

Mark/Gaz: the deck is going to be a lot of fun, mostly because it's not strictly necessary. :)

Gerhard: you don't have to tell me, that's already how I've got it planned out in my head. Of course it's nice to keep some "easy" projects for later in the summer too...

Lisa  – (May 21, 2015 at 8:06 PM)  

A word of warning about pond foam - it is not a permanent solution, especially if it's exposed to sunlight. It breaks down over time and will finally just float down the stream. It's great in areas that are protected - behind and between rocks - but using it as glue or to shore up edging has it's limits. Just another ponders opinion!

danger garden  – (May 22, 2015 at 12:40 AM)  

Oh my! And before I read this I thought I had a long "to do" list...

Alan  – (May 22, 2015 at 8:15 AM)  

Lisa: thanks for the tip about exposure!

Loree: If your garden were twice its current size, your list would be wonderfully long too I bet. :)

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