Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees, backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 180
Latest Activity: 4 hours ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, grow flowers, putter around the yard, dig in the kitchen garden, raise backyard hens, or just like daydreaming about the garden, this is the place.

Many topics have been discussed in the archive.  Revive a topic by adding your 2¢ or start a new topic.

Everyone likes photos of the garden, so if you like to share photos of your prize dahlia, your favorite hen, or your first tomato, go right ahead!

Discussion Forum

DIY Green House and a Chicken Coop?

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Idaho Spud on Saturday. 2 Replies

Cover crops: Gabe Brown

Started by Joan Denoo Jul 19. 0 Replies

Geodesic Dome Greenhouses

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jul 17. 1 Reply

Comment Wall


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Comment by Barbara Livingston on September 7, 2014 at 11:55am

Joan, there is no such thing as too much information when it comes to gardening. :)  So I definitely want/need any ideas.  

Thanks for comment on the  patio - yes, morning cup of coffee was actually the reason I created the space, and a late evening glass of wine is nice too .. while the dogs go do their business in the yard. 

The red flags in the picture are utility lines; phone, electric and cable. The flags determined the dimensions of my bed and future plantings in the area. All lots in this subdivision are zero-lots, all houses are built exactly on property line and there is a 5' easement. With only 12' between the houses we all have to be friendly. The subdivision was built in 1986 and there is no HOA and people pretty much do as they please, there is an ORANGE house across the street, and quite a bit of chain link fencing, and yes storage buildings are common.  The only limitation I have put on myself is no perm plantings, i.e. trees and shrubs close to fence, etc. If I can't cut it to the ground in case of repair/maint to houses,  and have it still live I'm not planting it.  So perennials are my go-to plants. 

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on September 7, 2014 at 11:53am

Thanks Barbara. Adorable and obnoxious at times, but almost always fun.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 7, 2014 at 11:30am

Barbara, my humble apology for inundating you with information, you have the problem well in hand. Your before and after photos are spectacular, to say the least. Under the conditions you describe and the photo of before, your grass is probably already dead. 

I gardened for two years in El Paso and two years in Ft. Hood, Killeen, TX and I know the grasses of that area. If there is any question about a living root, get it out before you invest time and money on your project. Those little devils hide behind atoms and molecules and come to life with the first taste of water. In Killeen, I made the mistake of not getting all the roots and my gorgeous plantings were soon tangled with that awful straw called grass. 

Your design is so pretty, it fits the space and invites one to an adventure into the beyond. A perfect way to use that space. Your choices of plants make good sense and trial and error is the best teacher. 

I like the red accents and the potted vines are so pretty. Is it cool enough, even in the mornings, to enjoy the space with breakfast? My memory is that nights were too hot to enjoy the outside, even as the days were impossible. 

The line of red flags, are they property markers? If so, your neighbor has use of a good size of your land. I like the fence that you put at the end of the patio. Are buildings on property lines allowed? 

I don't grow zinnias because of the mildew. Even diatomaceous earth did not stop its spread each spring. Fungus is such a dreadful garden disease, I finally decided to cut down a mugho pine because I couldn't keep the fungus out of it. I will be watching to see what happens as our temperature changes take effect in the garden. Already, Spokane has been moved from USDA zone 5 to zone 6. That is good for some plants, but not so good for the heirlooms of this area. Lilacs and tulips, for example.

I am so glad you are back, posting again. I promise not to dump a load of information on you that you obviously do not need.  

Comment by Barbara Livingston on September 7, 2014 at 11:17am

Berthold, adorable pooches! 

Comment by Barbara Livingston on September 7, 2014 at 11:08am

Joan, thanks for the video on removing grass.  That is exactly why I bought the tiller.  As I said in previous post I dug out space between houses on my hands and knees and there is just too much space left for me to even think about doing with a spade/shovel, and I can either pay someone to do it or have money for plants. 

I used tarps and killed the grass in a 40' x 4' bed, and I had planed to rake up the dead grass and then till it good, adding amendments. I thought if I tilled it good, then planted and used plenty of mulch it would be okay. I didn't realize that even though the grass in the area is dead, dead, dead that there would still be grass seeds in it.   

Tarps came off 40' x 4' bed along fence.


It was my hope to turn the major part of my lawn into an edible landscape, saving some space for the dogs to play.  However, I was going to use the tiller to create more beds that will include, a Hugelkulture and two others using the OLLAS. That is in addition to getting rid of the grass for berry bushes, space for potatoes, etc. etc.

I'm physically active, however, I know I'm not active enough to dig all of this up with a spade or shovel ...


So it appears I need to purchase a great deal of plastic sheeting. :)

Comment by Idaho Spud on September 7, 2014 at 11:02am

Barbara, your walkway and patio look nice.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on September 7, 2014 at 10:40am

About a year ago I bit the bullet and installed the Invisible Fence, and it's working like a charm for my three little monsters from the shelter. Their lives and mine have been so much easier!

Comment by Barbara Livingston on September 7, 2014 at 10:30am

Spud, your cute picture pretty much says it all.  I'm also guilty of the "Lily, No!" aspect of it.  She is simply wunnnerful in puppy class, and yet at home she won't respond to the same commands.  

Randall, I know for sure my two would be two subdivisions away if I let them out the front door. Simply too much to explore.  Rio is pretty good in the park and he gets to be offleash - Lily may NEVER reach that point and that is why she gets a 40 minute walk in the park on leash every morning.  She has soooo much energy to burn off watching tv in the evening is impossible without playtime in the yard after supper. 

Comment by Barbara Livingston on September 7, 2014 at 10:27am

Joan, This Spring I began my efforts with the 12' space between my house and neighbors. Reflection off the siding of both houses creates an oven on my patio - temp registers 140 on my thermometer.  In March I removed the grass - actually I paid a guy to do it, became so frustrated with his work ethic that I sent him home early and finished it myself on my hands and knees.

I planted heat/drought tolerant plants (salvia greggi, yarrow, zinnias, salvia leucantha) with the intention of making my patio and the walkway area look 'cooler'. I bought 5 trellises for the patio and planted vines in smart pots at their bases.  For the walkway I used some pavers that previous owner left behind, and I bought a few additional bricks. I then planted a few thyme and alot of dichondra.  The heat made short work of the dicondra and the weeds came raging back in the walkway. The first really cool morning I'm going to attack the weeds again, and this time I'm going to plant creeping thyme throughout the walkway area.  I use mulch from the city recycling center for the beds and have not had a problem other than an occasional weed pop up. 

Because of the high heat and humidity that zinnias became covered by powdery mildew by mid July and I wound up pulling them out, the yarrow seems to be gasping most of the time and never flowered or grew much.  I'm going to be adding more Salvia Greggi and mabe a few smaller salvia, and maybe some cactus, and just not attempt flowers in the walkway anymore. I should mention, as you look at 1st picture the left side is in deep shade until about 1:00 and then gets blasted until sunset. Next to my house gets sun all day long. By mid afternoon even the dogs don't want to go out!  

Comment by Randall Smith on September 7, 2014 at 7:30am

Barbara, my newly adopted pound dog is a sweetheart, but she wants to run down to the neighbors, a quarter mile away. Last night, I let her out to pee, and away she went. At 10:30, I drove down to retrieve her, holding back my anger, nary a scold.

Joan, good info on getting rid of sod, etc. My terrace isn't as nice looking as Zac's. Good job.


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