We spent two days of our last weekend of summer doing landscaping. I wish I'd taken "before" pictures, but to give you an idea of what we are/were dealing with, here's a picture of the crap that seems to have taken over everything in our yard:
I have no idea what this stuff is. It appears to be similar to the stuff my Grandma called Frost on the Mountain, but it's solid dark green. It's got a sort of carroty/queen anne's lace-y smell and it gets ugly white heads on it. But what's truly amazing about it is the root system. You cannot pull it out. You can barely DIG it out. At the beginning of spring, I decided to try something similar to what my parents did when their garden was overgrown with weeds. They laid thick black plastic over the whole garden and took a year off of gardening. So I took black plastic garbage bags and weighed it down with rocks and left it. It kinda worked:
But I don't know if it will work permanently, so what we ended up doing with a small chunk of our front yard is digging out the entire section (6 inches deep or so), laying down landscape cloth, re-setting the rock wall, sifting all of the dirt pulled out (to get rid of the roots), then putting the dirt back in, mixed with new top soil, and topping with mulch. We did that back in May and it worked so well that we tackled two more sections of landscape this week (replacing the cedar posts on my flower garden with brick retaining wall). In addition, we pulled out bulbs from these two sections (and then, of course, re-set the bulbs). Anyone know if I've ruined my bulbs by transplanting them in September?
Here's the section next to the house but inside the fence:
(If you click back to this post, it's the section with the red tulips in it--you can see the beginnings of the green crap taking over) Also, if you look THROUGH the fence you can see the impatiens--this is the first area where we dug down and put landscape fabric--and how well that has taken off. Here's a closeup of the impatiens bed:
And here's my *flower garden*! it's at the tip of our fenced-in yard and it was a good idea, IMO, to have for a flower garden, but the green crap essentially prevents everything from growing there other than bulbs, first thing in the spring):
(If you click back to this picture from early May, you'll see some of the bulbs, and, of course, the green crap taking over)
I think I re-set over 200 bulbs. I sure hope they come back.
In addition, G. patched up some of the grass in our balding lawn, and (my favorite thing) he built me a compost bin:
I am SO excited to be composting! I had the kids gather dead leaves from last year (the ones stuck behind the shed and other places that the rake wouldn't reach), had G. mow the lawn for grass clippings, and stopped by Starbucks to get some coffee grounds! Anyone experienced with compost bins? Things I've read have differing tips on how much green vs. brown matter and when/how often to turn them and how often to water them and so on. Also, just what kitchen scraps are okay to put in it. I'd love advice on that, too.