Saturday, May 17, 2014

I love Rock-n-Roll, but not Rocks-n-Flowerbeds

The landscaping has always frustrated me in all the houses where we have lived. Either it's well established and needs
redone or the beds are empty and need filling. I'm not sure which I like best. A clean slate actually works. I almost have that
here in the beds on the side of the house and at the back. I say *almost* because there are small pebble rocks in those beds.
While I can see the advantages of the pebble rocks, I like a more soft look. Besides, there are all these little weeds sprouting up
in the beds between the rocks as there was no weed barrier placed underneath - just layers and layers of pebbles.

The pebbles are an advantage at the back area just under the carport/back door because our central units are back there.
The rocks are fine there. The rocks are not fine where I want flowers.

I've been looking at this particular area long enough. (Eleven months, to be exact.) I finally decided to do something about it recently besides pulling the weeds week after week. I wanted something to add curb appeal because we pass by it daily driving into the carport upon returning home. I couldn't decide just what I wanted in these beds, then I thought about knock-out-roses and moved forward with that idea.
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The rocks were definitely a challenge. How could I dig and plant with them there? Ugh! I decided to remove as many of them as possible and spread the rocks more evenly around the central units. I decided to use newspaper under the rocks to help with weed prevention.
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Scooping up only the dirt was impossible. Scooping up just the rocks was near impossible as well! Ugh! What to do?!
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I used to have this handy little box screen where the dirt could fall away from the rocks. That got lost somewhere along the way. It was at a moment of frustration when I glanced over at my little garden wagon and decided it would hold water and I could get a colander from the kitchen to separate the dirt from the rocks. Rocks aren't as valuable to me as gold, but I was going to do some panning!
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YAY! Treasure! Oh, wait! No, just rocks.
After a few hours of grueling work, I was a hot, dirty mess! I had dirt from my toes to my chinny chin chin!
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(Teen asked me via text what I was doing that day and this was my photo text response! LOL)
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I finally conquered the rocks! I didn't get them all, but in the end I had more dirt in that area than rocks, so I considered my work a victory!
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Unfortunately, I had run out of newspaper. I remembered the large refrigerator box I had in the storage shed.
I decided to try out the cardboard idea I'd seen on Pinterest. Why not, right?
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I spread out the cardboard and used a box-cutter to trim it to size.
Then, I placed the roses where I wanted and cut a large hole in the cardboard to plant the roses.
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I knew I wanted mulch around the roses, so decided to use border bricks to separate the rock area from the mulch area.
In this photo, I needed one more brick which I've since bought and placed.
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The area looks so much better! I know the roses don't hide the units, yet. Along with the mulch, they really soften this space already!
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