Friday, November 20, 2009

Invasive Plants Garden Removal

I have been struggling with my best sunny location in the garden. Every year the invasive plants grab a little more from this bed. In 2009 I barely got any grip on it at all until the past few weeks.

Above in where the garden is located with a veiw of the pond, has room for lots of improvement. That huge clump of grass is a monster, the clump is likely 2-3 foot across and 8 foot high it has to go!

This bed had lots of wild black berries move in to the bed itself on the left side, I pulled them out weeks ago. In the front this 'annual' ornamental grass with blackish seed heads was grabbing the left and center front lawn hiding my Tennessee flat rock wall altogether. The center of the garden was(still is) this mountain mint given to me by a friend, it has taken over the entire center of the bed and mixed in with the ornamental grass in the center front. On the right side front there was 8-10 huge Bronze Fennels, I have pulled them out with 2 foot long roots. Between all of this are some beautiful large plox, some asters and salvias all mostly hidden in the mess this garden is.

My plan is to make a stone/treated lumber path along the back side of the garden on the pond slope and build a retaining wall out of concrete blocks, wine bottles (yes I said wine bottles)and stones set in a homemade mortar.

Above is the proposed path with the white arrows, it is fairly steep and some drainage comes there. The bed itself drops down about a foot on the back side right now, hoping I'll be able to level it off more and swale away the drainage at the same time or put in a drainage pipe under the garden.

Click on any of these images to enlarge them.
Above the white arrows show phase one, the path for the first garden patch. The red arrows show where I'll dig in some stone steps down to the pond, this is about 12 or so steps I think. The pink arrows show the proposed path for the second garden path phase three.

The paths I hope will be my weed control, before you could not walk behind the garden unless it was bone dry, otherwise the mud would slide you down the hillside. So this allowed the weeds go crazy and eventually walking was blocked by the weeds. The paths will be a lot of work digging and moving the soil on the hillside by hand. Hoping the end result will make the curb appeal awesome.

So you might ask what I have been doing with the weeds I have been pulling? I haul the weeds to behind the pond where I have a weed pile filling the ravine and setting the plants in the air so they can not set in roots (lets hope anyway). That pile could easily fill a large dump truck.


Chloe m said...

Dang, you are organized beyond belief! I applaud your efforts! I am looking forward to what your end result is. I like the arrows on your photos showing the future paths and walls. And love the repurposing of wine bottles. Drink up.

Laura Gardens in Desert said...

I too like the arrows, I bet it was tedious to place them on the photos but we appreciate it! Thank you.

Town Mouse said...

I admire your dedication. I just had Randy from Dry Stone Gardens over to discuss the small patio he might build for me. Now I feel a bit guilty, I could do that myself.

Can't wait for the "after" photos.

Randy Emmitt said...

Not that organized, still trying to figure out what will be the best results here and not require digging to China. The bottle walls are Meg's ideal they work best if the light can shine through them, so the underground portions of the wall will likely not have the bottles.

Laura glad you stopped by I enjoyed visiting your blog the other day. I used photoshop to do the aroows it was fairly easy, but I have been using photoshop a very long time.

Town Mouse,
building a stone garden is a lot of work, it requires some knowledge of stone work. Bet this guy Randy does a great job if you hire him. Our rock borders are dry stacked flat rocks the invasive plants move right under them. These retaining walls will have to have footer, THIS is hard work doing footers!

Nell Jean said...

When fall comes and there's no active garden planting left to do, the hard work begins: walls, paths, renovation.

Your plans look great. Photos really help in planning, wish there was a help in setting stones and sifting compost.

Lythrum said...

So, just guessing, you would use the wine bottles in the wall like cordwood masonry? I think I remember seeing some cordwood masonry sheds that had bottles in the walls and it works well to bring in some extra light. It definately looks like you have your work cut out for you. I can sympathize with the weedy areas, I'm trying to reclaim some too. :)

Randy Emmitt said...

Neil Jean,
We can fly you in and we have a guest room and spare car you can use. Actually we need to dry up around here before I can start on this. Right now one would be sliding down the hill more than working.

I visit your site often, thanks for stopping by! Yes the wine bottle go in like cord stacking with the open ends pointed slightly down to keep the bottle dry and protect them from freezing.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello there Randy : ) and thank you for dropping by my blog !
You live in a wonderful place (never doubt the advantages there, my neighbors are practically sitting in my lap from my back garden .. makes me crazy !!) You have so much planned and it sounds like it is going to look awesome !
I love the pond .. you must have so much beautiful frog song going on in the Spring and summer ?
I have a weakness for bronze fennel too and such limited space but it is a must along with my other herbs .. I can't believe how much you have on the go there !
I'm looking forward to seeing how it will finally show when you are finished (I say finished in an iffy way because we gardeners NEVER finish, do we ? LOL)
Joy : )

karenandjeff said...

That sounds like a neat idea with the wine bottles. You might check out information on earthship houses for some different design ideas. They use a lot of bottles/cans set in mortar to create walls.

Meems said...

You have got your work cut out for you... I suppose this is a good time of year for these types of projects. I'll be cheering you on and excited to see how it progresses.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Well, Randy, you put it in writing. In red. There is no way back now. We all will be waiting for pictures of that retaining wall!

sweetbay said...

Wine bottles. That's a great idea!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Sounds like a great undertaking. Managing water/drainage is a pain at times. Hope your walkway does the trick for you. I am intrigued by the bottle wall, looking forward to seeing some pictures.

J.J. Cedar Glader said...

Lovely pictures! Thanks for sharing!

Mark said...

Looks like you are going to be busy. I look forward to the pictures showing how you are getting on!!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I kind of like the look, but can see why you'd want to build the wall and paths to control the invasive plants. I don't like things spreading too far here, either. I enlarged the photos to see if I could tell which kind of mountain mint you have. You may have told me on my blog, as I grow 2 kinds, but I don't remember. So far, mine haven't spread too far. I'm pulling up the runners of the one that has them.