Between a gardener and non-gardener such as my hubby and I, the wise non-gardener (W) should provide the reality check for highly ambitious schemes cooked up by the gardener (me).
- I’d like to replace the complete back lawn with a pond and island for the 100 foot plus Ponderosa Pine that sits right in the center.
- I’d like to enlarge the deck off the master bedroom on the second floor, install a hut tub and spiral wrought iron staircase for early morning access into the garden in my PJs.
- I’d like a Japanese “Teahouse” in the bottom right hand corner of the back garden. The “Teahouse” would be the perfect writing studio or “woman” cave to escape to when the dogs take complete control of the leather chairs and remote inside.
W has the knack of scoping projects; seeing the construction challenges and long term maintenance obligations. I visualize the finished look, he sees the project for the effort and complexity involved. He also knows that as the sole weekend gardener of our property, I’m nudging up to the limit of what I can reasonably maintain. I have enough beds and pathways to look after; I really don’t need any more.
Last Sunday though, he stunned me.
Right after I’d finished mowing the back lawn, he made his way onto the deck and started to converse:
“Have you ever thought of replacing the muddy side of the lawn with some flowers and a pathway?” He questioned.
“Say, what?” I replied, stunned to my muddy gardening boots.
“Another bed, with the native plants that you like so much, and a pathway leading to the wetland area of the garden? You could get rid of the muck patch and have more flowers to tend.”
Huh??? My head was spinning.
I rely heavily on W on to keep my gardening exploits in check. He reminds me not to overdo it, and jokes that I will someday ask him to install floodlights so I can garden into the wee hours. And now he was suggesting a new gardening project.
A project I’d never even contemplated.
A project that would take many hours of work and result in yet another garden bed to maintain.
An unfurled garden hose happened to be snaked across the lawn and before I knew it, we were marking out the contours of a new garden bed.
At it’s widest part it’s 8 feet, curved into a weird half moon shape. The plan would be to add a 2 foot wide path along the current lawn edge to give access to the “wetland” area.
Now, there’s a solid reason why W is suggesting getting rid of that portion of the lawn. It’s not a lawn, it’s not a moss patch. It’s a mud pit most of the year and a dried cracked clay pot the rest. Nothing wants to grow there because the area needs some serious drainage work. The more I think about it, the more W’s suggestion makes sense.
I could try and fix the drainage problem and replant the lawn, hoping enough filtered light makes it through the tree canopy to keep the grass reasonably happy. More appealing though is W’s idea of removing the lawn in that area and planting a bed of moisture loving “wet feet” plants. Ferns (of course), Variegated Dogwood, geums, rushes, and grasses.
What do you think?
How would you address the obvious drainage issue, if you wanted to fix it?