Oh, my yard. How I love thee. And loathe thee. I love that, when we arrived, you were a blank canvas, just waiting to be dug and re-arranged and beautified. I loathe that you are rocky and your top soil is shallow and that one entire side is sliding into the swamp next door.
You didn’t know that we have lakefront property? Don’t worry – we didn’t win that lottery that we never play. The lot next to us was prepped for a house and never finished. Four years ago.
Lovely isn’t it? At it’s worst ( as in when the drain is plugged) it fills right up. When the wind blows, we get to watch the waves crash into the opposite shoreline.
The multitude of amphibians that this space houses are great for keeping the flying insect population to a minimum. And the neighbour’s outdoor cat does a fantastic job of culling the rodents.
At this point, our severely sloping side yard is a lost cause. Even my poor rhubarb was struggling. Yes, the rhubarb. That plant that can grow anywhere and takes an Act of God and/or Atrazine to kill off. The grass doesn’t grow. We use the trimmer on it a few times during the growing season and call it a deal.
I’d love to tell you that I am expecting The What Plant Where Encyclopedia from DK Books to work miracles, but I am not. I am beyond that, at this point. Sure, each page is filled with stunningly gorgeous pictures. And yes, the contents are broken down a dozen different ways, meaning that anybody should be able to find something to grow. Maybe even me. No miracles maybe, but definitely hope.
But can it help with this? The raised, rocky soil bed on the opposite side of our house. We put it there because the runoff and shade between the houses left the grass in very poor shape. The front half of the bed is exposed to sun all day; the back half is shaded a large portion of the day. Hmmm. Under ‘Gardens in Shade’ there is a section concerning ‘Plants for cracks in walls and paving’. I kid you not. The soil here is so poor and shallow, I am sure it replicates those conditions. Or perhaps some of the suggestions filed under ‘Plants for beside hedges, walls, and fences – plants that survive in dark and drought’. Perfect!
And what about this one? ‘Plants for Sun-Baked Areas’ might have some ideas. This flower bed sits alongside our driveway, partially shaded by my truck. Again, the soil is atrocious. I swear to you, those rocks you see all came from our yard.
There are other sections of this book that I have my hairy eye ball on.
- ‘Plants for Banks and Slopes’ – A solid investment here is likely to bring greater returns that my financial institution right now
- ‘Plants for Hot and Dark Colours’ – not one mention of a hot flash here.
- ‘Plants for Rock Gardens’ – pretty much describes our entire area
- ‘Recipes for Problem Areas’ – and this has nothing to do with my thighs or a diet.
- ‘Recipe for Chic Modernist Design’ – not for me clearly. I have never been considered either of those things. I can’t see how my garden could be either
- ‘Plants for Pond Perimeters’ – while what we have next door is more like a swamp than a pond, I am sure the suggestions would work just as well.
There are so many more I could go into, but you get the idea. DK Canada is showcasing a number of their gardening books right now. Check them out. DK Books are available at your favourite online or brick and mortar store.
What Plant Where Encyclopedia Giveaway
Hoping to get ahead of your yard ‘issues’ this year, too? Use the Rafflecopter for below to enter for your chance to win your own copy. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Open to residents of Canada only. I am not responsible for lost or misdirected entries. Contest closes May 5, 2015. Approximate retail value of the prize is $40. Good luck everybody!