Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Latest Project

Gardening in a small backyard is not easy, especially when the yard is long and narrow. A few years ago we added a flagstone patio in the middle of the yard. Great idea, but that did divide the yard in half. We needed a way to tie the 2 sides together, so we created a flagstone walkway from one side to the other. To border the path, I planted monkey grass. I loved the idea and initially loved the look, but this area was under water every time it rained. Plus, the monkey grass got WAY out of hand..so here is the latest project. Last week, every evening after work, I worked on digging up all that monkey grass!
And, let me tell you--it was quite a job! You know how hard it is to dig up monkey grass anyway--then add in the muddy clay soil and what a mess!
I was covered with mud every night, but by Thursday night, the grass was gone. (well, is monkey grass ever really gone?) The next step is to put in a french drain. That was going to be the project for this weekend, but the weather is not cooperating, so we will have to wait. But here is my plan: I think after hubby puts in the french drain, I will use this entire space as a garden bed, then add flagstone here and there, but not as a defined path. That way I can plant lots more flowers, but still have stones so I can get from one side of the yard to the other. This area gets great sun now, so I would like to take advantage of that and use plants I could not have before the tree came down.
It rained very little over night (more to come later today), and you can see that there is already water standing in this area. I am really excited about the latest project and making list of what I would like to buy for the new bed. I may come in each evening tired and muddy..but a happy gardener I will be!
"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt!"
Margaret Atwood

21 comments:

tina said...

Yes, I totally agree we should all smell like dirt. I wish I could every single day. This weekend is a weekend out of the garden for me:( I hope you'll post on the French drain. I'd love to see how you do it. So many need these but many aren't sure where or how to go about it. Good job on digging out the monkey grass. A tough job indeed. Now the real work begins, you have to be sure it doesn't come back. Tough old cookie it is. You have a fabulous weekend! My daughter is getting married next weekend, family is coming and I still haven't found my dress:( I'll think of you in the garden.

JenningsJunk said...

Wow! no wonder you were so tired this week! I'm exhausted just looking at it all...can't wait to see the sun loving flowers your going to nurture!!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Oh Tina--have fun and enjoy! What precious memories you will have.
Good luck on the dress thing--it took me forever to find something..I am sooo short!
Yes, I will certainly post on the french drain. We (well, hubby) are going to tie it into an excisting drain. It will sure be alot of work, but I think well worth it when it's over. I think I will be fighting monkey grass the rest of my life though. Bad decision on my part-sounded good at the time.
I'll be thinking of you and your family!!

JJ--yeah..now you see where the achey back came from. I'm glad that part is over, but digging out for the drain will not be easy.
Think pretty flower...think pretty flowers.... :)

misterreereeder said...

Positive attitude and looking forward to the final product. That's the way to do it.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Mr--thank you for saying that! You always say the kindest things. I am trying really hard to be optimistic, but this is going to be quite a job. I do look forward to the end result though!

Cozy Little House said...

Yes ma'am, I've pulled up my fair share of monkey grass. Like pulling at taffy! Love your idea, by the way!
Brenda

Msrobin said...

I don't know what a french drain is, but my first thought for your new space was to create a rain garden. They are all the rage now! I have a damp spot that cries out for one, but it coincides with the utility box, so digging there is OUT!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

I like your idea, more flower beds! Just enough stepping stones to get around. I had to laugh at you digging all that grass, you know you never get it all! I'll bet that space is REALLY underwater after all the rain the last 24 hours.

CiNdEe said...

I think that is going to be awesome! Monkey grass is never really gone..just hiding(-: LOL But it looks all gone for you!!!!
I actually love that stuff and plant it all over in bare places where nothing else grows well(-: It makes a great filler inner(-:
I am glad you are having fun diggin in the dirt!!!!! Have a super fantastic week!!!!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Brenda, great analogy! It was like pulling taffy. Glad you like the idea..now if it would just dry out so we could proceed!

Robin, I'll post about the drain when we put it in, but basically it is a pipe with holes in it that the standing water drains into. Ours will run ungerground through the yard and drain out front. I thought about a dry creek bed, but I am so limited on flower bed space, I would rather have more beds...and more flowers!

Oh you are so right Nola! It is a river right now. It will take forever to dry out. Glad you think my idea will work...I can't wait to get moving on it. (and yes, me digging out all that grass was a hoot!)

Cindee, yeah...I know the monkey grass is still lurking out there. I like it too, but it just took over and I didn't have the time to constantly be pulling it out..plus, I want another bed! :)

Susie said...

Like Tina I'd like to see how you put in the french drain as well. We have a spot on the side of our house that doesn't drain very good.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Good luck with your project.

I had to google monkey grass. Hadn't heard it called that before.

Wish you could share a little of that excess rain with us. Much, much too dry here.
Marnie

Meadowview Thymes said...

Susie, if it ever dries out (lol) I will post about the drain. Hubby did one before, but I think this one might be easier as he is tying it into the exsisting drain.

Marnie, it has been a rainy winter and spring for us, but come July..we usually have hot, hot dry weather. We call it monkey grass here although I know there are several other names for it. It is one tough grass to dig out!

Cindy, MCOK said...

Your plan sounds great to me ... won't it be fun to go plant shopping for the new garden space?

Meadowview Thymes said...

I can't wait to shop for new plants Cindy, but right now..that area looks like a creek! And more rain to come they say. It's going to take a long time I am afraid.

Chandramouli S said...

One should definitely smell of dirt - sure, I agree! I wish I had time to get dirty every day. [SIGH] Have fun this weekend and keep us posted as to how the space comes out... Happy Gardening!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Chandramouli, I know exactly what you mean! I wish I could dig in the dirt every day! Unfortunately we are due more rain, so our plans maybe delayed. Right now, that area is like a creek! I will be so glad to get that drain in!

perennialgardener said...

Ooh more planting space, that's every gardener's dream come true! Can't wait to see what all you plant and the final look. Keep us updated... :) PS I'm in love with your Bluebonnets.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Racquel-you are right! Gardeners always want another bed. (wish I could explain that to hubby) :)
I will certainly post on our progress. We can only work on it weekends, and looks like we are in for another rainy one!
Glad you love the bluebonnets--I am in love with them too!

Skeeter said...

I feel your muddy pains. Even though we need rain, our back area is still somewhat a soggy mess. I am now working on a rock garden to help out in one area. Slowly I work away at getting rid of the soggy issues....

I will place a bet on more Monkey Grass popping up this summer, lol...

Meadowview Thymes said...

Skeeter, I know you are right about the monkey grass, but I had to get rid of it for now to control it. It's starting to rain again, and we can't work in the mud like that, so this weekend we may not get anything done. grrrr! I slipped off a stone and went ankle deep in mud. Soooo frustrating!