Mulch really helps


A couple of  months ago my husband and I were driving along a mountain road looking for a good spot to walk our dogs, when we came across a pile of wood chips laying at a clear cut. This section of woods was cut a couple of years ago, we had heard the screaming of the machines and seen the dirt plume from our shack.

We’d watched the trucks take out the logs, and then we saw the chips trucks come and go. This pile was left behind, was well weathered and washed by rain, and lays right in the public right-of-way along a county road. So we’ve been taking the F-150 up there once a week or so and helping ourselves.

Chips have become expensive since that drought – remember the drought? – made “zeroscaping” the In Thing.  I’ve been using leaves from our yard to mulch my medium size trees when they looked as though they were dying, and it really helped. But leaves are messy, I don’t like piling them too close to the front door. I’ve been looking for a cheap deal on bark or chips for my little dooryard “shade garden.”


I killed this section of lawn with black plastic a few years ago and  planted red bud and crepe myrtle trees and some flowers in it’s place. This is the hottest part of my yard, and it took daily watering to keep this patch through one of the hottest summers in my memory.

That picture was taken earlier this summer. The feverfew flowers got frowsy and I’ve whacked them back, and I’ve started to fill in between the trees with chips. I’ve already noticed – I don’t have to water the patch every day anymore.


Hummer’s favorite color.   As I was taking pictures he buzzed me a couple of times.

The blue sage has begun to bloom like crazy, and new echinacea plants have volunteered and bloomed.  Everything is greener and the whole patch is looking lush.

Unfortunately the crab grass has moved in on the garden, looking for water, and I have to dig it out before I put down any more chips. I knew I should have torched it good during the heat, but it seems like this wind has been dogging me for a month now. I’ll get it when the weather changes.

I believe this patch of trees will change the climate in my front yard, I’ll keep you posted.





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