We have had four days of nice weather in a row. Now, I vaguely remember a few weeks of hot dry weather interspersed with occasional thunderstorms from when we first moved here last July, but I was beginning to think that was a fluke. Apparently not. The weather report has called for rain the last three days, but it's missed us, so I'm taking advantage of it while I have it.
Today I went to Home Depot with a plan. Since I don't want to go near the fence bed again until I've smothered out the poison ivy, I've started an edging bed along the garage wall. My plan called for deep red and white begonias backed by multicolored coleus. All I could find were pale pink begonias. Even the marigolds were looking a little ragged. I guess this year I will be planting pale pink begonias and seeing if I can coax a few allyssum into blooming as well.
note for next year: start seeds in good time for planting
First I laid down a layer of cardboard to smother the grass and weeds. It's mostly clover, which is good mulch anyway. Then I laid down bags of topsoil with the plain side of the bag up. I'll cut holes in the bags and just pop the begonias into those holes. Instant mulch! Add the cedar edging fence I bought and there shall be a garden, of sorts. It will at least be prettier and neater to look at than the current weedy growth, and I won't have to mow it. Mowing that patch is pretty difficult as it was originally meant to be under river rock so they didn't level it at all. As the summer progresses, I'll gradually widen the bed and level out that area.
Planting right in the bags is a suggestion from the Mother Earth News gardening magazine. You can do a single layer, or several for an instant raised bed. Lay out the bags you want and punch holes clear through them with an ice pick or dandelion digger to allow for drainage. Then cut a large hole in the top, leaving a 2-inch margin of plastic. If you want a deeper bed, lay down the next layer, punch drainage holes and cut out the top hole until you have your desired depth. Mulch the sides for a neater look.
I plan to frame these beds with 2x12s later in the summer, or even late fall, but for now, at least I can have flowers.