I’m thinking about adding to my garden space — and removing from its function as “lawn” — an area on the south side of the house, between the rock wall and the house. The area I am considering is about 14 feet deep and 58 feet long that surrounds a perennial border already in place around the house. Just thinking about sheet-mulching that large space is daunting. I’m not sure yet how I will go about it, whether I’ll do one small part first, then another, and so on over multiple weeks; or reduce the size of the garden to what I can manageably sheet-mulch all at once (time is of the essence this Spring); or whether I will sheet mulch some and (horrors) till the rest. I may dig holes in the lawn — really, it’s mostly ground ivy in this area — to plant my new perennials and trees, then sheet mulch around them, thus reducing to a small extent the sheet-mulching effort and materials required.
Speaking of perennials and trees, here is what I have ordered from Fedco this year, in a group order with friends; these arrive very small, usually in early April:
1 Buddleia davidii “Ellens” Blue Butterfly Bush
2 Clethra alnifolia “Ruby Spice” Summersweet or Sweet Pepperbush
1 Prunus x kerrasis “Crimson Passion” Dwarf Cherry
2 Sambucus canadensis “Meadowview” Elderberry
20 bulbs of Gladiolus Green Star
20 bulbs of Gladiolus Plum Tart
3 Myrrhis odorata Sweet Cicely
2 Verbena hastata Blue Vervain
I am thinking of planting the dwarf cherry, the butterfly bush. the elderberries, at least one sweet Cecily and one vervain, and possibly the glad bulbs in this new garden area. The summersweet is too attractive to bees for me to place it near the house or garden areas I frequent, but I want them in the yard for this very reason, their siren call to pollinating bees.
What I’d like to do with the rest of the space is plant other herbs and edibles (besides the elderberries, cherry, and sweet Cecily), including many veggies and more berries, but … alas, the deer path runs right along this lovely south-facing piece of land. I could put up an electric fence to keep them out, which would be tall and fairly noticeable to neighbours from the road, though with screening (here is where tall plants like the dwarf cherry, and the Cecily and vervain come in), perhaps it would be noticeably beautiful. And this is, from what friends tell me, the type of fence that could be put up to allow it easily to be removed in winter, when the veggies are gone and most of the perennials are no longer visible above ground/snow.
Here are some photos of the piece of land in question (taken today), with the possible garden area drawn in purple. If you have ideas (especially for keeping deer away), let me know!