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Cosmos in raised bed. (Just to left of previous Lily photo no. 55).

alanb

By Alanb


Cosmos in raised bed. (Just to left of previous Lily photo no. 55).

Wendy and I revamped this border, earlier this year. It hadn't been touched for many, many years. It seemed to be root bound, with not much growing in it, if that makes sense. Almost impossible to weed or tidy it up in any way. We dug everything out and started again. The bark top dressing has made it much easier to maintain as well. The cosmos plants were a gift from a friend, they seem to like the location, which is full sun for a large part of the day.



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Interesting that you mention the bark. I recently visited my SIL and remarked on how perfect her borders were looking, freshly weeded and the soil perfectly crumbly on the surface....BIL said they had laid small bark chips, and this has reduced the maintenance to almost nothing! I am definitely going to get bark this autumn. The weeding here is a huge task!

7 Aug, 2014

 

Karen, I can thoroughly recommend bark "top dressing". I do a favour for a friend and look after her garden. She saw tree surgeons locally and asked if she could have some wood chippings, which they kindly agreed to and dropped TWO TRAILER LOADS on her drive (for no charge). I weeded her borders and put a 6" mulch on all beds (watering heavily first). This has reduced the border maintenance by some 95%. Only thing is to be careful of the type of chippings from tree surgeons, (acid or otherwise).... If you could reduce your weeding time by 95%, just think how many more crosswords you could do .... lol.

7 Aug, 2014

 

I do love Crocosmia. We used our conifer chippings on our top garden last year and the azaleas and rhododendrons really benefitted from them. They are quite acidic I was told.

7 Aug, 2014

 

Good idea for the Autumn, K.....they suggest composted bark....it is heavier and not easily thrown around by the birds.

7 Aug, 2014

 

I don't use bark as I found it harboured the slugs over winter. Have been using soil conditioner and find it does the same job and brakes down easier.
Well done on both of you getting your border sorted out. A nice gift to receive. I love plant gifts!

7 Aug, 2014

 

Angie, I wasn't aware of a potential slug problem. I know you should clear dead leaves from your borders, as the slugs/snails shelter under them in the winter. I will have to see what happens next spring.

8 Aug, 2014

 

I learnt the hard way Alan! My first year of gardening, I mulched the whole lot (wasn't cheap either) with bark and the following year I was inundated. I discovered them all wintering under the mulch layer.
I don't mulch to keep the weeds down as I don't mind weeding but mulch to provide a bit of protection for the new plants. I suppose if it's keeping the soil warmer for the plants, it's also providing a cosy winter hideaway for the slugs too. Also a good place for them to lay their eggs!!
Would be good for you to report back to us in spring time, then we can compare results.

8 Aug, 2014

 

Good idea, I will certainly do that, I may need a gentle reminder nearer the time though.

8 Aug, 2014



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This photo is of "Rhodedendron and Honeysuckle Arch" in Alanb's garden

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