Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Garden Design by Lawnmower

I have these trees and shrubs on my front yard and it is a pain to try to mow around them. In fact, it is pretty much impossible to mow around them as you can see from the tall grass around each.

I have the choice of letting the grass grow long like it is now or getting rid of the grass and mulching it. Or, I can simply build a garden bed around each shrub.

So that's what I've decided to do. I ran the mower around each shrub and tree on the lawn and because they're so close, the circles started to intersect. I smoothed out the curves where the circles met and slowly but surely the circles started joining up. I kept circling and smoothing until the garden shape emerged.

So, this is what I'm currently thinking of building. I'll get rid of the grass (newspaper and mulch) and simply create a large flower bed. Planting will start next fall and continue for the next few years as I create this front garden bed.

I'm considering calling it the lawn mower school of garden design effect. :-)


At 10:39 PM, Blogger Connie said...

This supposes that you want to keep the shrubs:) And, are the trees really worth saving? My knee-jerk reaction to thaat question is always "Of course!" but be sure to try to dispassionately evaluate your trees. That said, it takes an awful long time to grow a tree...
So be sure to plant carefully around them when you install your beds. Garden tools, even hand tools, can damage the bark at soil level, allowing fungus to penetrate the tree's defenses. When mulching, be sure to leave an air-gap right around the trunk, so as to keep the bark dry. Consult with your County Forestry Agent, or whatever you have in Canada, to see whether the tree would suffer from having the earth over it's roots disturbed. For example, the California Live Oak will die if you plant lawn around it and irrigate enough to grow the grass green. It's native habitat and climate do not include water for 8 months of the year.
Still, less mowing is more better.


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