Monday, May 24, 2010

Gardening with a hammer.

I started another new bed a few weeks ago. It began as an odd assortment of plants, some Yucca that needed a home, Euphorbia "Blackbird", and tiny pieces and bits of trailing and spreading sedums. Months ago, Carla asked if I wanted some terracotta pots she didn't want. I said no at the time. Clay pots dry out way too fast in summer and need to be watered everyday. I went back this week and told her I would take them. I used my hammer to smash them, creatively, and placed them around the area of the new bed.

On Sunday, I took a few hours to haul 5-gallon buckets of small stone from the gully, from the other beds in the yard, and from wherever I could pick them up in the paths through the backyard. I dumped them between the plants and broken pots.

Terracotta bricks in the gully were relocated and repositioned several times until it looked "right".

Wintersown grasses, yucca, and other drought tolerant plants were placed here and there between the stones and broken pottery. Yarrow, rudbeckia, and echinacea was transplanted from various parts of the yard.

Two large stones were maneuvered into place. The largest one took an act of Congress to get it where I wanted it. The handtruck will be retired with honors soon. A third stone still lives in the gully. I don't think I'll be moving it without help from a lot of friends.

Over time, I'll fill more areas between the stones with sandy soil. Sedums will be rooted as the plants I now have start to grow. This bed will change and fill in as years pass. I could go out and buy all the plants, but that wouldn't be as much fun. Down the street, I spied pups under a blue agave that survived the coldest winter ever (not really). I've asked Carla to keep an eye out for the man who lives there. If she can't get me one, I'll have to look elsewhere. It would make a great centerpiece for the bed.

It's 66 degrees and cloudy. Rain is likely this afternoon and into the evening. The plants are loving it.


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

The cracked pots look great in your gardens.

Still no rain here. :-(

Have a great day.


Unknown said...

You'll love this when it fills in, particularly since it's one of those beds that only needs attention a couple of times a year.

I managed to fill my succulent bed by periodically going through and breaking little pieces off some of the bigger plants. Since they root almost instantly, it filled in nicely.

When I started mine, an old man gardener recommended that I add gypsum to the clay soil. It has made a HUGE difference over time. Doesn't change the pH, but keeps the soil more crumbly.

Looking forward to seeing how your bed progresses!

Antique ART Garden said...

Neat, but here is my two -cents worth, which may be worth exactly 2 cents. I would take out the brick, and the larger brick blocks, and see if you like it better with just the broken pots and cool rocks. If not, put them back in. I have found too many different elements in a bed can be too "busy". I'm looking at a few things in my garden right now considering the same thing, editing. Actually many things ! Very creative ! Gina

Dar said...

Tom, You have a very keen eye. I love what you have done. Nice idea to contain some of your treasured plants within pieces of the pottery.
Nice entry.

Lona said...

Oh, I like what you have done to build this bed Tom. The clay pots just add that special touch with your sedums.

Cherry Lane said...

That's the best use of clay pots I've seen in a while! I agree with you that actually planting in them requires too much watering. Meanwhile, I'm also "gardening with a hammer" this week, but I'm constructing, not destructing.

Ruth said...

This is SO cool! Have you ever read the book "Shocking Beauty"?