Friday, June 20, 2014

Wax on - Wax off

After last year's health issues, continuing deer devastation and then the loss of so many plant varieties due to the polar winter, the beds are in major transition status.

Some have been revamped (such as the crabapple bed (earlier entry) changing from a colorful flower bed to a shade bed full of greens and textures).


The ring bed is on it's own.  So much died.  So much eaten.  All I'm doing is mowing around the shape of the ring to preserve it for some future decision.

Stump bed is simple enough to maintain.  Once I cut back the daffodil greens, the Shasta daisies, liatris, bearded iris, Russian sage, catmint and that sorry excuse for a crabapple - the Prairie Fire - can take care of themselves for this year. (The daffs also need thinning!  Daffs multiply like crazy here!)

The beds under the sweet gum trees were a total bust.  Nothing ever grew there (azaleas, ground cover, etc.) and keeping it mulched was a pain. So  I've pulled out all the dead bodies and sown grass seed.  With the frequent rain, the grass is coming in nicely.

The bed that sported that (alas, winter killed) Black Knight butterfly bush is now graced with a  little Sargent crabapple and this year is densely planted with dwarf French marigold for color (the deer don't seem to like them).

The arbor bed - well, it's become just a deer buffet.  And a mess.  (Thankfully, the dense foliage on the trees in the crabapple bed now screen this rampant chaos from the deck.) The phlox and daylily haven't a chance.  I'm not fond of the peonies at all.  And the whole thing has become choked with Dutch iris, daylily and daffodils.  I'm going to (over the year) tear out everything, saving only the flowering plum, Montauk Daisy, some coneflower, a dwarf lilac and maybe the false indigo (baptesia) and white hardy hybiscus.  These listed will most likely be rehomed. (Note ring bed behind arbor bed.)

What will happen to the arbor bed?  I'm going to make it a fenced in (and I mean TALL fenced) vegetable garden.  I'm tired of growing veg against the privacy fence.  Not enough morning light (this pic and arbor pic showing light at same time of day) and the afternoon light becomes too hot due to being reflected back onto the plants from the fence itself.

No, making a veg bed out of the arbor bed only makes logical sense.  Best light, easy enough to fence, etc.   It'll be some work.  Hardest part will be THROWING PLANTS AWAY.  Ouch.

Meanwhile, back at the swing bed, that, too, is being revamped.  Even ENLARGED.   I want the swing to have a better setting.  So I'm extending the bed back about 5 feet.  This will allow for a small decorative fence half-way into the new extension, then flanked with some nice shrubs and bordered with some of the fine hostas I've grown from seed (forefront of pic).

So there will be a dance of sorts between enlarging the swing bed and unloading the arbor bed.  I'm hoping for more help on this.  Yeah, riiiiight.  Like I can count on THAT.

Bottom line, this year it's not about the plants (food).  It's about the beds (place setting).  I'm tired of feeding deer.  If I make the beds more hardscape than soft, at least the eye will enjoy the symmetry  and flow of the beds themselves.  And I'll have less heartache when dealing with deer.

As for current veg/flower status -- check the sidebar blogs.  I've posted updates there.


  1. I love all your "names" for the beds. Funny how that works out. I have Scummy Pond bed, triangle bed, etc. I should just call them all DEER beds-Ha! You just smiled. I know you did!
    It's raining again. Ok. Now--it's enough. The mosquitoes are having WAY too much fun out there.

    1. Smile? I burst out loud laughing! *still chuckling* We got another 2.5" Wed/Thur to add to the 4+ inches. 6.5 just this week with 9" so far this month! And I see you're done with today's radar so it's heading our way. Oh gee thanks.... :-P

  2. I'm wondering if you got hit with a lot more rain after your 4+ incher the other night? We got quite a bit more the two days after you had your deluge than you did that night.

    Even though you're having a rough time with all the gardens and deer, I still love your pics! I lost 4 butterfly bushes this winter (along with quite a few other plants), which has me really bummed. I picked up two new ones recently, and right away took cuttings from them, which I have potted and hopefully taking root.

    1. Yep, another 2.5" after Mondays Niagara Falls episode. Good luck on rooting your butterfly bushes. I've found a couple self-seeded in corners and will think about transplanting them into the ring bed....

      I gotta tell ya, as you can see on the veg page - the cukes are loving this weather.

  3. PS Love the "build in place with mulchy stuff" swing bed. I'm guessing you've got cardboard or newspaper under those grass clippings? And probably other stuff?

    1. Oh yes. Full disclosure on lasagna bed making on the flower blog (sidebar).

  4. I was out all day Saturday, and came home to find we had another .25" of rain at home, yet none where I was out in Akron/Medina direction.

    I see there's a 50% chance of rain today, and 80% chance the next two days after that. While it's nice not having to water anything other than the occasional hanging basket, the yard is ultra-squishy, and I'm kinda done with the rain thing for awhile...

  5. Good luck with the remodeling! I do hope you manage the enclosed veggie enjoyed all that produce so much.

    1. Thanks, Glenda. Making a new veg bed will be a huge project. I'm not going to push myself. But at least I've got a long-range plan again.


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