Sunday, October 24, 2010

Undoing my front garden

This weekend I spent a lot of time working on my front garden. On Monday, Allie, a friend from the historical society and an avid gardener, is taking me to a gardening center to get fertilizer, mulch and whatever else I need to improve the sandy Western Australian soil.  Then we're going to her house where she's going to give me some plants from her garden.  (I'm still not sure why she doesn't need them, but Yay for free plants!) 

Both my front garden and back garden are really small, shaded for most of the day, and have to compete for soil space with trees.  So far I've not had much luck in figuring out how to add color to my spaces, but I'm hoping Allie will have some good ideas.  But let me show you what my front garden looked like before this weekend.

It's L-shaped, with a tree in the corner.  (Funny fact about my tree:  When we moved in it looked completely dead and barren and really ugly, but as soon as spring hit it started sprouting leaves like crazy.  Now, the foliage is so dense that barely any light gets through to the soil below.  I'm not sure which is worse.) 

I got the landlord's approval to do basically what I wanted with the garden awhile ago, and was just waiting for my Impatiens (my fine with shade and sandy soil Impatiens) to grow before I dug up anything.  But that was a bust (see previous post), so yesterday I pulled up all the leafy green plants, and today I hacked the mostly dead vine-thing down to the branches that still had growth on them.  I also attempted to turn over the soil, but I kept encountering large roots.  I don't want to harm my annoying tree, or the vine-things, but I have no idea how any other plants are going to survive in my soil with the existing root structures.  But maybe Allie will offer insight with that too.

The after photos:

All those sticks on the patio came from the vine.  About 2/3 of the thing was dead, and seemingly had been for a long time--the branches were really brittle.  So now the vine looks lopsided, but it'll hopefully grow better.

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