Several weeks ago, I posted about the demise of what had been a beautiful gold Leyland cypress, ‘Golconda.’ The tips on almost every branch had turned brown, and local tree professionals whom I called in were unable to identify the cause. It had become a definite eyesore, so I reluctantly had the tree cut down, leaving only the somewhat large stump at ground level to deal with.
What does one do with a stump and a new open space between my neighbor and me? I decided to construct a raised bed over the stump and plant something that would close that open space and, of course, be beautiful.
I built the bed with tumbled concrete blocks, much heavier than I should have chosen. But one may remember my history: once I start with something, it just seems to go on and on. I think some of you may know what I mean; one peony leads to three more leads to a dozen more, etc. In my last garden, I constructed terraces of dry stack field stone, and before I could stop, I had handled…many times…over thirteen tons of stone throughout the garden. You would think I would have learned a lesson therein. But, no, I just kept adding layers to this bed to make it taller despite the strain on the old back. The real challenge here was to keep it level despite the drop in elevation.
After finishing the construction, I filled it with a planting mix of my favorite soil recipe and selected the plants. Here it is after planting (I couldn’t resist adding one last layer). The plants include a ‘Purple Magic’ crape myrtle (which should grow to 6-10 feet high and wide), ‘Caramel’ heuchera, carex ‘Rekohu Sunrise,’ and annuals ‘Grafitti Violet’ pentas, and ‘Sweet Carolina Bewitched’ sweet potato vine.
And as luck would have it, just after I finished the project we were blessed with almost four inches of rain in about an hour.
That’s what I call a great ending to a project.