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OTHER ITA SITES:
Building a Garden Pond and Perennial Flower Bed From Scratch
We had a large newly created yard and I have a love of flowers so I naturally desired a flower garden. The problem was that the fill that was trucked in to create this yard was all chunks of blacktop and concrete with a light sprinkling of top soil to cover the chunks. There was no digging into the dirt without hitting something solid. We couldn't even drive in a tent stake.
The town workers were scraping the sides of the roads after a long winter of sanding icy and snowy roads. They had two loads of roadside dirt they wanted to dump that looked like pretty good dirt so I let them dump it in a pile in the back of the yard.
After staring at the pile for some time, I began to see a fish pond and perennial garden in the dirt. My husband and I started working moving the dirt around to form a bowl in the center and grading the dirt away where the flowers would be planted. A flower bed would be wonderful, but with a pond in the center it will be even better.
Because we didn't know what we were doing, we used a grey plastic tarp for a liner. It worked well for two years. The spring of the third year we replaced it with rubber pond liner which will last many years. We purchased a pump and a filter so we could keep fish.
We had a fairly large pile of limestone rocks left over from an old rock wall. These rocks became the border for our perennial garden. My sister has horses and a nice pile of old horse manure. She graciously brought me a pickup truck load of manure which we mixed in the dirt. There is a recycling plant nearby that makes compost so we got a load of it to help improve the soil.
Another sister was cleaning out her perennial beds in the fall and throwing out a lot of overgrown plants which made great starter plants for me. I filled the back of my truck and brought them home to their new bed. I placed the plants in the ground for the winter. In the spring I divided the plants up and spread them out and had a great start on my flower bed.
Each year since then I add a few plants purchased at flower shows, the grocery store, and nurseries. Iíve also traded many plants with others happy to get different plants than they have. Now, seven years later, I am enjoying seven flower beds created basically the same way with beautiful flowers blooming from April through October.
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