~~~~~~~~~~Last year, when I still thought we would be living in this home permanently, I created a perennial flower garden near the entrance of our driveway in celebration of finally putting down roots. (HA!)
I carefully laid down sheets of newspaper around each plant planted. I BOUGHT mulch (a first, EVER) for above the paper. I gathered rocks from the riverbed and encircled the entire bed and then spelled out an N with a heart, since I didn't have all that many plants to work with (but many plans of expanding.) It looked like this:
The very next day, our chickens scratched the mulch to high heaven hoping for a delicious meal, ripped the newspaper to shreds and left me first dazed, then positively livid for the rest of the summer. I still enjoyed the flowers that were produced, but the garden was a far-cry from the picturesque vision I had hoped for.
Fast forward to this spring. The bed was a sorry sight. The spring rains had worked wonders for the grass and weeds, which were drowning out the perennials. I actually had to rummage up the above photo just to tell what was "real" plants and what was...the bothersome kind.
Since I have no weedwacker (or the like) it was up to my digits, all ten of them. I knew I wanted to try the whole "weedless wonder" picturesque vision bit again this year, but knew I would have to get creative for the chickens' sakes.
The weeding took a day.
I laid down black garden "fabric" (bought that, a first!) carefully cutting away holes around flowers. I added a few extra lilies, given to me last year that had somehow survived the black garbage bag over-wintering they so thoughtlessly received. I finished this just before it began to rain. This was another day. (Hey. I am a mother.)
Finally, I hauled leftover gravel, wheelbarrel by wheelbarrel full and spread it around. (I figured the gravel would be heavy enough to deter chickens AND smush out weeds. cha----ching!) I hauled a few wagonloads of large rocks for the border too. Again.
The plants just look happier now, don't you think?
I will be looking out for a weedwhacker during yard sale season though.