Saturday, July 8, 2017

Playing in the Garden ( again )

I have, in a past post, fessed up to liking to work in our peace garden. That is, in the parts of our property that are not grass. I’ve enjoyed both weeding ( in part for the more or less instant gratification ) and installing a border to separate the garden from that which borders it.

I didn’t make much of it, but that post showed a border I had installed everywhere, several years prior. The border consisted of a series of three-inch diameter, half-round logs, with alternating lengths of three and five inches, with each series of nine having three long metal spikes which poke into the ground, to stabilize the border.

I said, in that post, “( You can also see the three inch half-round border I put in several years ago; that was fun while it lasted, but it certainly appears that its lasting is about over. Another story, perhaps. )” I am here telling at least the beginning of that ‘other story.’

Figures 1 and 2 give a pretty good indication of what that border looked like just after installation.
Figure 1 - What the border looked like right after installation
( and the buried old plastic border highlighted )

Figure 2 - Another view of the view following installation
There were some graceful curves between the lawn and the garden that were created a long time ago and this border followed them very nicely.
( See Figure 3. ) 
Figure 3 - A graceful curve, which the border follows nicely

The border is high enough to keep a significant quantity of wood chips out of the grass, the half round logs look very rural and the varying height of the logs adds personality. I really liked it.

My installation put the bottom inch or so of wood into the ground; I am unsure if the installation required this or if I just did it. I put the half-round logs deep enough into the ground that they were quite solidly packed between the earth on the garden side and the sidewalk ( or old border ) on the other. Over the years, the earth’s moisture played havoc with the wooden logs ( which I might have realized would happen if I had given it much thought ). Figure 4 and Figure 5 present a representative view of what that border looks like, in various places, today. Rather unattractive. 

Figure 4 - The wooden border has rotted out
( Notice the graceful curve it followed, though. )
Figure 5 - Another view of the rotting border.
Not being one to rush into things ( a highly polished skill of mine,
procrastination, according to my dear Ellie ), this year I looked at other options for this type of application and bought one ( yes … one … a single unit … uno ) section of a rubberized material intended to resemble brick. A section is about four feet long, and long plastic nails pounded through pre-drilled holes in the rubber, into the soil, provide stability. There are four of these per section of border.

Ellie and I weeded our peace garden recently, and I removed most of the half-round sections of border that had rotted out. She had suggested that removal of these sections would improve the looks of the border even if I did nothing else. She may be right; I believe the jury is still out. Regardless, I used the occasion to check out the newly purchased brick-look border. ( See Figure 6 and Figure 7. )

Figure 6 - The 'looks like brick' rubber border.

Figure 7 - A closer look at the 'looks like brick' rubber border
I think it looks great. I may even replace other sections of the wooden border that have rotted out.
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