Designing the Beds
In keeping with the tropical element of the garden style, I wanted a lot of curved paths that would entice the visitor to wander through and marvel at the beauty of it all.
But my drawings looked stupid.
The house is very angular, the driveway straight, and we’d had a rectangular raised bed built.
So I ended up with predominantly straight lines, with a couple of curves snuck in.
Before I did any digging, I marked the corners of the beds with solar lights to help me better visualise the final result, and to give me points to dig between.
Then I sat and looked at it for a while.
It’s a good thing that I have a fertile imagination.
Edging the Beds
I wanted to keep it soft, so chose clumping rhoeo.
I’d already begun my collection by taking cuttings wherever I happened to be. They grow like weeds here. That’s not an excuse. And no, it’s NOT stealing! It’s pruning. And besides, sometimes I asked permission.
I dug (those damn rocks!) the first few trenches by eye, then fortunately remembered watching the builders running string lines to get things straight.
With the string lines, I only had to run upstairs to check on the shape of the curves.
I was very lucky that, although there were three places with GIANT rocks, there was enough topsoil to plant the rhoeos without having to get a man in to dig out the rocks.
I don’t like getting outside help. Labour is cheap here, and, with a few notable exceptions, you usually get what you pay for.
Plus you have to keep buying new plants to replace those that have been pulled out along with the weeds.
Or trampled on because they are magical, and can make themselves invisible whenever the gardener walks by.
Or pruned to within an inch of their lives because the gardener thinks it looks nicer that way.
I won’t mention the path that appeared when I wasn’t looking (on the positive side, he did work really fast!) and that I had to dig up and put in the right place.
Am I venting?
The beds in the making: