Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gardening Plans for Spring

Yesterday morning, I woke up and realized that it is much lighter much earlier in the day. Which means: Spring is coming! My bulbs are pushing their hopeful tips through the earth. My dogs spend as much time as possible sunning themselves. And I have started looking around, thinking of what I would like to do in the yard this coming season.

I have two goals this season. The first is to get our watering system hooked up and running. We pay a few hundred dollars a year to have access to unlimited gardening water in the spring and summer. We just need to hook it up.

My second priority is to add privacy to our home. I would like to plant a row of trees along one side of our home, to block our view into the neighbor's yard. I would also like to tear out the shrubbery in front of the house and put in a fence, so the dogs can have access to the front of the house.

I want to plant some lilacs in the front of our driveway, to act as a privacy screen. Trees would fill in more quickly, but that section of the line runs under power lines. Lilacs it is. The other issue with that spot is that the previous owners planted Vinca. Vinca is extremely invasive, and almost impossible to kill. In fact, the only way to completely kill it is to lay down several layers of cardboard, cover it with dirt, and wait until the Vinca is smothered. This can take a season or more. Then, you can remove the cardboard, till the dirt and plant.

I don't want to wait. So, my idea is to make a raised bed over the Vinca, using old railroad ties. A bed two ties high should be sufficient for planting. I will fill it with dirt, plant my lilac trees, and by the time their root systems reach down enough to compete with the Vinca, the Vinca should be gone. The raised bed will be inexpensive and will add a little height to the lilacs, giving more privacy. Railroad ties are going for about six dollars each on my local Craigslist, so it should be a reasonable project.

My goal for these projects is simple. I want to be able to open all of our curtains and not see anything but our yard and our property.

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