To control weeds, I used a technique that also works great for establishing new flower beds on top of a patch of lawn: cover the area with layers of cardboard, stake them in place (or hold down with rocks), and top with a thick layer of bark. I've been bringing home boxes from work the past couple of months; nice to have a free source of materials. I used the U-shape pins sold with landscape fabric to hold them in place so they won’t slide around, then sprayed the cardboard with water. This helps them start to break down. It took the 8 bags of bark I bought this week, plus a 9th, to cover the cardboard.
The corner is now finished, and I love the way it looks. I’ll look for a small side table to go between the Adirondack chairs, something big enough to hold a lamp and glasses. I can see myself sitting out here in the evening, reading and sipping a glass of wine, relaxing after a day at work. And it will be a perfect spot for an intimate talk with a friend, a place to escape a noisy party on the patio.
The other task for Friday was digging the lemon balm out of the last 1/3 of the flowerbed, and planted hollyhocks in about half the bed. Besides the salmon pink double that Marion gave me, I also have a dark red/black single, plus rose red and white (both double). Enough to fill the whole bed, and by next year, it should be a solid hedge of hollyhocks.
On Saturday, I finished my other major chore in the yard today: scraping up the former bark pile that became a small garden, right on top of the concrete parking pad! Between the lemon balm, pasture daisies, and a few other perennials. I had quite the little volunteer garden growing there, but it was time to reclaim my parking spot!
I spread half the rich, loamy soil in the flower border, then planted the rest of the hollyhocks, fertilized them, and spread bark, then hosed the dirt off the driveway. I decided to leave one small lemon balm plant at the end of the border, but will chop the roots occasionally to keep it under control. It’s fragrant, and makes a great filler for flower arrangements.