We had big plans for this. We did. Visions of Mexican beach pebbles filled my mind. That is, of course, until I figured out how much Mexican beach pebbles cost. So, as illustrated in this post, we started filling the bottom with rocks on the property. Using the children as
slave paid laborers. We started here with a deck covering the area that was 35′ x 5′ across the front of the house. (Please note: We started this in July 2011. It is now May 2012. These things take time. A lot of time.)
And yeah, it pretty much stayed like that for a while, half filled with river rocks and growing weeds as spring sprung. Life gets in the way, you know? But then I had an idea. We had all this soil delivered for the raised bed gardens and only used about half of it. Let’s fill the bed and plant some things. Yeah. That’s it. Flexibility and imagination are the ultimate advantages in these situations, right? Right.
So that’s what we did. We filled it with dirt. Back-breaking, I tell you. But I think my arms will be ready for sleeveless shirts after all that. Hmmm. Now what?
Brett had put in a new screen for the drain-like thing. And he attached it with this goopy stuff that looked like icing. (I just asked him what it is called and he said ‘yellowy foamy expanding stuff….that’s good enough for your blog.’ Lovely.) When asked what could be done about that expanding ugliness, he said ‘sand it, of course.’
Next? Shopping for plants! That’s what. I knew I wanted tall-ish spiky type plants. Very mid-century modern and minimal looking. Grasses and the like. Maeve, Ainsley and I headed to Home Depot with very different interpretations of what that look would be exactly. Ainsley wanted flowers. She said we needed something ‘warm and welcoming’ for people coming to our home. I didn’t disagree per se. Maeve was into the succulents. I wanted grasses. So we compromised and got it all.
In uncharacteristic planning, I gave some thought to the height of the plants. We planned to have the tallest plants in the back. I wanted something around 5′ so we bought some Feather Reed grasses. Then for some color, we added in a slightly shorter Cordyline in a lovely share of red. In front of that, we planned to plant some lower height mondo grass in this lovely purplish black. Then we added in some succulents, Stonecrop sedum and something called ‘Hen and Chicks’. There is another one that is long and spiky but I don’t have the name for it. (Mainly because my lovely husband threw away the tags I was saving for my blog!) Ainsley still wasn’t satisfied and wanted something flowery still. We ended up buying some interesting looking pink annuals that we call ‘Truffula trees’ in homage to the Lorax. I don’t know that official name (yes, in the trash too, courtesy of the husband) but they are the perfect modern looking flower.
We laid them out according to height and recommended spacing and proceeded to dig and plant. Maeve tamped them down with her bare feet, reminding me of a harvest crush festival.
But it was still missing something. I was wishing I could still have some Mexican beach pebbles to fill in the bed. And I remembered something I saw on Pinterest recently where a bed was simply trimmed with stones instead of filled with it. I suggested this to Maeve and she was on board immediately. I shoveled. She arranged.
The end result was perfect. Enough zen from the rocks to complete the vision. I still think we need some black mulch over the dirt, though I expect the plants to fill it in fairly well. On the whole, I love the look of it and can’t wait to watch them grow. (Why does new landscaping always have to look so bare and naked?) The rockery is now a plant bed with a rock border and that works for me.