18 years ago we started the garden. It started out a typical landscape for a 1929 bungalow. My goals were to have garden paths made with the local pink limestone, paths that would meander through the whole garden. And to remove most of the lawn so that there would be a garden. I said, “Just think Ted, you won’t need to mow very much at all”. But, while I myself laid down most of the stones in the yard, he and I had to “mine” them out of the country and haul them home and unload them. When we were gathering the rock, he definitely thought that mowing was an easier alternative. But, good sport that Ted is, when I would say: “Ted you know what would be good?” He would laugh and say “One more load!” And off we would go with our picks, shovels and metal bars. Ted was the muscle! Well, all the paths are done. Raised beds are made and we have just a little bit of lawn. Today I mowed the lawn in front and back. It took me about 10 minutes. The sweetest thing is our 1940’s electric lawnmower that belonged to Ted’s grandfather. I love this little mower. It starts by pushing a little button and it is so quiet. Ted says it is because it has a plate with little blades that just hum. No gasoline fumes or noise. I had at one time one of those push reel mowers, but it didn’t cut up the bits of branches that fall from the trees. Here is my very small, non-chemical back lawn:
We have this little circle of lawn in front of the pond. I took this picture this afternoon. Spring is just starting. Today I trimmed a lavender plant. I take the cuttings of aromatic herbs and put them into the fire pit. Nice. Up front is a cotoneaster. The birds plant them around the yard. This one I shaped into a fan. PS: May 6, 2010 This morning it has just started to snow/rain.
Here is the other little bit of lawn. The mock orange is barely greening up. When removing lawn and making a garden it is very, very important to remove every bit of grass root. A bit of grass will grow and travel through your gardens. Don’t skip this detail.
This is a view of the border that lines the walkway up to the porch. The lawn stays mostly squared off like this. I dug a little trench around the lawn and filled it with pea gravel. That keeps the lawn in its place. Peonies, a rose, lavender and coreopsis, are beginning to awake from their winter’s rest.
This is also in the front yard on the other side of the sidewalk. There are 4 squared off pods with a square in the middle. I have a 4th of July rose in the middle of the pod. By having a pattern the area shows some design in the winter. In the raised bed on the right hand side I plan to grow eggplants and peppers. We have a school across the street from our house.
Near our sidewalk I have a circle garden rimmed with a gravel and limestone path. Behind it is the previous picture. I put little rocks under this round flat rock. See the turtle?