Friday, June 24, 2011

The goal: no mulch here

My SO brought over a copy of Envisioning the Garden.  The gardens being envisioned in this book are quite large in scale, making my third of an acre feel like a postage stamp.  One thing I noticed, and have noticed in other books on landscaping, is the beds are not mulched.  Instead, they are brimming with plants.

Around these parts, mulch is a primary landscaping tool, the rule rather than the exception.  Mulch is available in a variety of colors and textures.  It can be bought by the bag at big box stores and filling stations, hauled from the county biosolids site for free or for a couple of hundred dollars a dump truckload can be delivered to one's doorstep.

In my poorer days, I mulched my flowers and shrubs with grass clippings.  They served the purpose of discouraging weeds while retaining moisture.  Then I graduated to bags of mulch, then an annual dump truckload, and now have backed off to a couple of pickup truckloads a year from the biosolids site.  My goal is to be virtually mulch free, though, just like in those fancy landscaping books.

Some of my beds have achieved this state of grace, most famously the hosta bed on the north side of the garage.

Hostas as far as the eye can see.
This bed is FULL.  So full that I have had to rescue a coral bells that was disappearing, and will soon relocate the 'Love Pat' hosta that is too young to compete.

Help!  Save me!  I'm drowning!
Where hostas have not been planted, volunteer columbine, coneflower, rudbekia, and violets have filled in the gaps.

The front of the house is also filling in nicely, mostly with a selection of tall and low growing sedums.

The other beds around the foundation of the house are similarly packed.  I won't say these beds are weed free, but they are relatively easy to keep that way.  My yard and its planting may not look "normal" but it suits me just fine.

(Deja vu!  I feel like I have covered this topic before, but I can't find a similar posting.  Oh, well!)


ErinFromIowa said...

I enjoyed the little visual walk through your garden. Your beds are lovely.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I hadn't thought much about mulch-less beds, but I really like the idea. Your plants look great.