How to create a planting bed for your garden.

So, the new house I have moved to in Chicago is brand new, and as lovely as that is, the garden is void of anything but grass. The growing season in Chicago is short, mighty short, so while the sun is still shining and the ground is not a frozen waste land, I have been out there gardening like a crazy woman.

I have taken the raggedy boarders around the perimeter of the house and made them into lovely sweeping beds. It took quite a bit of effort but the result is really worth the blood, sweat and tears, OK,  there was no blood or tears but it is still uncharacteristically warm here, so there a little bit of sweating was involved!

Here is what I did.

Using a hose I defined the shape I wanted the bed to take. I am going for an informal look so organic flowing lines rather precise straight lines and sharp angles works best

make a flower bed

Then taking a spade I cut the sod (or turf, if you are British like me), using the hose as my guide.

make a flower bed

Then the fun bit removing the sod. It was actually a lot easier then I thought, as the grass has not been down that long and as a result has not got fully embedded. It was a case of peeling it back.make a fower bed

Once the shape was defined I went back along the edge with my spade to give some extra definition, here is my new bed just waiting for some beautiful plants.make a flower bed

The soil here is unbelievably heavy and full of clay it is is literally pottery shop ready. The clay looks pure enough you could throw it down on a potters wheel and make a beautiful vase! I am not sure how anything manages to grow it it. I selected sun loving perennials for this west facing bed which gets a big dose of afternoon sun and to give my plants the best start, I dug nice big holes and back filled with compost. I am eager for everything to fill out now but will have to wait until next summer to really see.

make a flower bed


Love from

Creative in Chicago





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