Thursday, April 23, 2009

Designing for Easier Landscape Maintenance

Inside corners are no fun to mow. I used to have one that was bounded by the driveway to the east and a fence surrounding a utility area to the south. With a car usually parked along the edge of the driveway, mowing involved a lot of back and forth, tight turns and paying attention to which way the wind was blowing so the car didn’t get covered with cut grass.

In these situations, I like to use a landscape bed to round out the inside corner. However, this area was also a well trafficked area just outside the garage walk door. I didn’t need to install a landscape bed and have a path beaten through my plantings.

One handy trick for areas that you are having trouble visualizing a solution for, is to lay out a garden hose to help define the space. I laid one out with gentle curves and adjusted it until I could drive my riding mower along it without having to stop and back up. I also delineated a path through the proposed bed. My family evaluated this layout for a couple of weeks to make sure that we had a design that met our needs. (It is much easier to adjust a garden hose than a flagstone path.)

Once we were comfortable with the layout, we rented a sod cutter for removing the grass. Then we installed edgestone pavers along the border of the bed. (These are great for making curves.) I like to install a flat solid edging between the lawn and the edgestones. I find that this makes it easier to maintain a clean edge and keep the grass out of your bed. I used black plastic edging with a large bead at the top for the sides of the path. The path was constructed with flagstone that was “grouted” with decomposed granite. After this we installed the plants and mulch.

This area is now much easier to maintain. Added benefits include the reduction of thirsty lawn grass and more camouflage to pretty up my utility area.

No comments:

Post a Comment