Nancy has a beautiful home and yard in a very nice subdivision. She had decided that she wanted to maintain the wooded lot and to have a yard that would echo the statement of a lovely home to be crafted with stone and timbers. Years later she decided that it was time to deal with the “ugly mailbox.” She called and said, “This is a job for john the plant man.”
Nancy had given the project a lot of thought. We talked about it. She had bought different varieties of thyme—four varieties, six pots of each—to plant the project with. She had learned some things about living in her house
- Deer like wooded lots and eat up landscaping plants
- Deer do not like thyme
- Thyme, once established, is a hardy, drought resistant ground cover.
- Thyme prefers a prepared, raised bed in order to thrive.
We decided to build a raised rock-bordered garden. We started laying the rocks to form the enclosure for the bed:
At this point, the job didn’t look quite right. We decided that we didn’t want just a row of rocks around a pile of dirt.
Nancy said, “I don’t know quite how to describe what I’m looking for.”
I smiled and said, “I think we want it to look like God dropped a handful of rocks and they fell in just the right places.”
“Yes, that’s it,” she agreed.
So, we took it all apart and started over. I had been looking at bags of cheap “topsoil” that were being sold in the box stores. Lowe’s had some on sale for a dollar a bag and when I examined it, I found it to be ground and mostly decomposed pine bark. If you add lime to this, it is a rather good growing medium. We looked around the property (which was blessed with stones) and carefully, one at the time, chose the stones to fit the concept. We added the “topsoil.”
The rock job was now totally different looking. The new design fulfilled the purpose of holding the soil together, and it looked a lot more natural. Nancy looked at it, smiled, and said, “And praise His Name, they all hit the ground without denting the mailbox.” We spread a mulch of wood bark and started planting.
The mailbox garden fit right in with the natural front yard.
We ran a few hundred feet of hose out to the road and watered the plants. The different kinds of thyme looked happy in their new home, and the fragrance was delightful.
A couple of weeks later, I stopped to check on the project. I found that all was well and the plants were growing as they should. The deer had turned up their noses and moved on to other treats.
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