Thursday, March 30, 2006


Five yards of mulch... Now what...

I recieved 5 yards of mulch this morning. It will go into the back yard to make the path into the woods and to expand the mulched planting area around the big Bradford Pear.

The path into the woods comes from an idea in my landscaping book, "Home Landscaping Southeast Region," by Roger Holmes and Rita Buchanan, Creative Homeowner, Upper Saddle River, NJ, ISBN: 1-48011-003-7. See www.creative, on page 96 and 97.

Basically, there is a corner of the yard that goes into the woods. It is fenced off, but we can deal with that in the landscaping. Here is what it looks like before I started. The woods are to the right in the picture in the neighbor's yard. The wooden fence section hides the cable box connection and keeps the dogs from coming through the fence at the corner. My little path will end there, split and come out to the right and to the left with an island in the center in front of the path.

The plan illustration in the book has a number of trees and shrubs including Delaware Valley white azaleas. I picked up a number of these on sale at Wal*Mart today for $1.50 each. These will go into the island along with another white azalea that blooms slightly later in the spring. The remaining plants will be added as I find them or suitable substitutes.

The path, itself, will be underlain with landscape fabric, 3 ft wide. Initially, the path will be pine bark nuggets, perhaps with pine bark mulch over it to fill in the holes. I have done this before and it works. However, the left side of the path will be the principal drain path for the 200 some feet of the back yard. Occasionally during a heavy rain, this can become a small stream, but normally the lawn keeps the runoff rate fairly slow. So, the path could wash away, or bunch up against the fence at the end. If that happens, I will replace the nuggets with egg rock to make a more durable path - stream bed.

The rest of the mulch will go to expand the bed of mulch to accomodate the 5 camelias that I got on sale. Three of these will go into the grass area to the east of the bradford pear and the mulch area will expand to accomodate them. Two more will go beside the dogwoods I just planted in the area. I will also move the kousa dogwood out of the mulch area and expand the mulch to include it. This is according to the plan in my drawing book.

Today was spent killing the grass where the mulch will go using Roundup, and digging holes for the plants in the soil that is laced with 2-inch gravel. Digging will be a chore.

My strawberries in the strawberry pots didn't survive the late frost, so I have 20 new plants to replace the frozen ones.

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