Monday, November 3, 2008

It's Nearly Concrete

You may recognize the picture from an earlier post.  Today, I'm focusing on the flower bed behind the darn House Sparrows.
This particular bed has been a thorn in my side since we moved in, 8 years ago.  No matter what I do to amend the soil, it always reverts back to "dead dirt".  There is nothing living in this dirt. Not one bug or worm.  Every year it gets compost, but every year the plants don't seem to do well.  They flower, but the green part begins looking anemic by mid-summer.  

The old fashioned orange Cosmos are the only things that really thrive.  Growing underneath them, is portulaca.  Not the pretty, flowering kind, but the wild version.  The yellow flowers they produce are about half as big as these letters.
I want, badly, not to  just nuke the entire bed with Round Up and cover it with black plastic, but I'm just about there.  I considered removing all the dirt and bringing in new, but the two Mountain Laurel trees don't seem to care one bit about the poor soil. I don't want to kill them by shocking them with a big change.  

My other option, is to just dig out the entire mess, cap all the sprinkler heads and pour concrete.  Who needs pretty flowers and butterflies and bees and birds anyway?  What about some nice lawn chairs and an umbrella?


  1. oooooooo! I have TWO beds like that and I've been blaming the Hill Country Landscape soil from the Natural Gardener that I built them with. Arg! I can only get rosemary and that light purple verbena-ish plant (is it verbena? Dunno?)to survive there. But, like your mountain laurels, the lacey oak that I planted in one of these beds seems to be oblivious to the deceased soil. I'm so glad to hear that someone else experiences this particular form of frustration. I couldn't even get cactus to take hold in one of these stinkin' beds! Huh!

  2. I also have a flower bed that almost nothing grows in except a "scrub" tree that is growing by leaps and bounds. I have spent a fortune in flowers that either die after a week or are very anemic looking. It is nice to share the experience with others. I also wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog.