Dig It, Redux

After some slow going while I was down sick, work on the bed has resumed apace. Digging completed Saturday AM.


Depth is pretty consistent across the bed, except at the extreme upper end, where there's a little downslope to help direct runoff. Or, perhaps, because the vein of undiggable clay ran closer to the surface there, eliciting an exasperated "Screw this noise!" when I tried to even out the depth. You decide which...or maybe both. The pile you see at the top right is five cubic yards of loamy topsoil, delivered that morning.

Spread out, it looks more like this:


I'll be moving the remainder of the fill in by trailersfull in order to avoid the landscaper's exorbitant delivery charges, but the basics are in place, and I've start setting the beds around the front to accompany these.

Next steps:

  • Complete topsoil fill of side bed.

  • Install stepping boards to control soil slope in side bed.

  • Lay ties for front corner bed.

  • Filet corner between side and front with steel/fiberglas edging.

  • Remove hard clay top in side/corner beds and fill with topsoil.

  • Plant!

  • Edge beds with liriope and topsoil.

Spring Hill Nurseries and Park Seed are going to hear from me in the next week or so with orders for astilbes, hydrangeas, hostas and other shade-loving plants. By next spring, I should have actual landscaping.

To complete the exercise, once the plants are in place, I'll order batches of ladybugs, red wigglers, nightcrawlers and crickets. A week or so later, I'll half-bury some clay pots to make toad abodes. And at whatever point it's convenient, the liriope planting will soften the edges of those ties. I'll try to get close-ups, but the texturing on some of the ties, where years of trains pressed them into the ballast stone, is beautiful.