Saturday, April 21, 2012
Burying the Past--A Cardboard Box Base for a Tropical Garden
"We were in April then: the weather was sweet and warm, the grass as green as showers and sun could make it..." (from Nelly's account of Heathcliff's last days above ground in Wuthering Heights)
Life grows sweeter when a difficult past is given a proper burial. We certainly hope that's the case with this new tropical style garden we are constructing in the backyard. Cardboard boxes from many moves over the past several years have been laid to rest as a base. It's a little eco-friendly trick I learned from working with the Gardening Friends of the Big Bend on the Demonstration Garden at NFREC in Quincy, Florida. The cardboard helps prevent or at least slows the growth of weeds, especially when it's covered with pine straw and other mulch. I prefer recycling cardboard to spending a lot of money on expensive ground fabric.
Secret Aging Man did the dirty work of removing the sod so that I could arrange the plants, lay the cardboard, and spread pine straw and cypress mulch to cover the whole bed. The triple-trunk palm was left by the former tenants. I'm not sure what kind of palm it is, but I have learned it's good to keep some distance between it and my skin. Another thorny plant! It serves to replace a large windmill palm that the tenants moved from the front yard and subsequently killed, either by neglect or the shock of moving it. We burned those palm remains along with some other yard debris a couple of nights ago.
Rain is falling as I write this post, washing new ashes and old regrets deep into sandy soil. It nourishes and settles the new plants we've added to our tropical garden here in subtropical Northwest Florida.
Happy Earth Day 2012!