This client wanted a small patio surrounded by gardens with very little grass to cut. She also requested the cost be kept to a minimum. We started by layering newspaper, soil and leaves in the area that was to be garden, leaving it over the winter months to decompose. This spring it was dark, rich soil with only a few pieces of newspaper remaining to be raked up from the garden bed. The lesson learned here was to ensure the newspapers are applied thickly and overlapping so that the grass is completely smothered. The newspapers must then be completely covered by soil and leaves; you cannot have too much soil or too many leaves. The newspaper should not be visible. The layers must then be wet well to prevent the leaves from blowing around.
Plants recycled from other gardens were added throughout the summer, then mulch to complete the garden area. I prefer the black cedar mulch as it compliments the green plants and smells great.
The patio was constructed using pavers discarded by another friend who was replacing the pavers from her sidewalk with interlocking brick. The patio is just large enough to fit a few lawn chairs or a lounger.
Next, stepping-stones were added leading from the deck and patio to the small patch of remaining lawn. More plants and additional mulch were then added around the patio, deck and pathway..
The final step was to treat the lawn for weeds, then overseed it so by next spring it will be lush and green, complimenting the rest of the yard. Be sure to wait at least six weeks after treating for weeds to overseed your lawn so your new grass sprouts will not be affected by the weed treatment.
The makeover was a complete success, with cost kept to a minimum by using recycled materials as well as the homeowner’s and her son’s manpower:
I can’t wait until next season, to see how it looks when the plants have a chance to settle into their new homes. Next spring I will edge the garden area so there is a distinct demarcation line between the garden and lawn, and so cutting the lawn will be simple…stay tuned!