Recently I bought a new rose, 'Gertrude Jekyll', and I bought her not caring if I had a place for her. I just loved her looks and scent so I brought her home. I started looking around for the right spot for her, but really didn't have room for her, especially somewhere with lots of sun and where she could be appreciated. Have you ever wandered around the yard with a plant in your hand trying to figure out where you will put it? Usually when I do this it's a much smaller type of plant that I can eventually find a place to wedge it into.
I decided I'd have to create a space for her, and where better than on the way to the front door where I've already been planting lots of other fragrant plants. Since we haven't had rain for a very long time the ground was rock hard and the grass dead, especially in this very sunny spot. I used this whole space where you can see the very dead grass.
I'm not sure why I decided to start in the middle of a day in the 80's. I spent about 4 hours the first day. Those 4 hours not only included digging, but diaper changes, lunches made, a wading pool filled and other Mom duties. I know my husband would've helped, but I didn't really want to wait for a free weekend since we don't have many and besides, 'Gertrude' needed to get out of her pot!
This is the end of day one. Not only did I have to remove the dead grass, but I had to dig down to put the first level stones in. The pickax became the tool of choice.
After lots of water, Gatorade and ibuprofen I was ready to start on day two. I pretty much finished after another 3 or 4 hours of work. I just planted some annuals and moved some lilies in for now until I decide what else I'll put in this area. I put the stepping stones in so I can step in to smell the rose.
'Gertrude Jekyll', I hope you'll be worth all the work!
This is how it looks coming from the driveway now. The bed used to end right at the Coreopsis. We are planning to get rid of the rest of the grass sometime and put in a little "courtyard". I think I may work on killing the grass over the winter with newspaper or cardboard.
I had no idea when I bought 'Gertrude' she'd be getting a custom made bed. This is why I've been trying to only buy plants I have a place for, but I'm definitely happy with how it turned out.