June 6, 2015


I feel like jumping up and down, and I would, if I could - If I wasn't' too sore from hauling about 2 tons of gravel across two acres, after digging about 36 holes for dahlias and digging out roots of invasive plants, which now are burning in the fire pit. Finally you can read about some accomplishment, thanks to Joe who helped haul a tractor load of granite cobblestones from out back near the woods where we kept an extra pile. 

Daphne is such a good girl, she like to sit and watch everything that we do. OK, sometimes she likes to dig too, but that's OK, as long as she isn't digging up dahlias. Here, you can see the type of professional weed block that we need to use, to keep bamboo and grasses at bay. We even use it over the soil to keep the gravel clean. Too bad too, as our soil is so rich and the loam so deep in this spot next to the greenhouse.

It's just so nice to sit back in the evening - on a Saturday, no less, and make a list of all that was completed in one day. A new terrace graveled over, a new raised bed which I will write about later,(it's one of those table-type beds from Gardener's Supply - I'm getting ready for old age!), a couple dozen plants of various chili peppers were planted, more tomatoes, 36 dahlias, a selection of small annual seedlings transplanted out into a new garden, and zinnia seed was sown.

Joe placed cobble stones which one paved the old streets here in Worcester, MA. His father rescued a few tons years ago, and we use them for lining walks. Just too expensive to buy the quantity that we need.

The most noticeable accomplishment, an entire new walk which was one of those projects that was started last spring, but encountered many hurdles much like a house remodeling, where once you start, everything connects. We cut down a couple of tall yellow magnolia trees, which was sad, but necessary, we then had to dig out grass and weeks, bamboo and switch grass, plan a new fence ( which is still another huge job for this summer, and of course, before any of that had to be done, we needed to design what we were actually doing. It's always helpful to have a plan.

The weed block cloth is thick yet allows water to pass through.  It's more expensive than the thin, plastic sort, but we need this to be permanent. If we need to plant something, we just need to cut it or blow torch a hole.

This new garden is an example of what I am realizing we will need to do across our yard - which is to reduce the amount of labor needed ( which, essential is us).  By eliminating lawns which need to be cut, and placing long rows of walks, gravel and hedges, there is less room for weeds and high maintenance grass, and more condensed spaces for the plants we love to grow. This walk is the start of a new project, that will extend our gravel paths along side the greenhouse, and then behind the greenhouse leading to the coops (we placed our chicks out today for the first time, and ducks arrive later this coming week).

Gravel is heavy, so we haul half loads and rake each load out to keep the path level.

The pea stone gravel we are using is browner than I would like, as I would have preferred more of the bluestone chips which we were using, but it is more forgiving on the dog's paws and our bare feet. maybe it will fade over time.

New kennels will be going in at the end of this walk, as part of the problem on this side of the garden is that this side is the dog side. Grass does not grow, and they like to run all over the acre and a half which is also theirs. I can't really fight it, as this is Joe's hobby, so a compromise was needed. Make much of the garden dog friendly, use  playground pea stone gravel, and fewer muddy areas should do the trick. The only problem now, is dogs peeing and stepping on young plants.

Complete, it is starting to look like someone else's garden. Now, to think about what hedge material to plant along the path, and, start thinking about how we will replace the fence to the left. Trees will need to be cut down first at the end of this path, and a cross path will be added along with kennels behind that.

Next, Dahlias will be planted along the left side of this path.


  1. Your new walkway looks wonderful. I can just imagine the amount of time and energy that went into that project. I badly need a new walkway from garage to back door. I dread the labor involved.

  2. It looks great. I love gravel paths.

  3. The new walkway looks amazing.


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