A Project Completed

Cupressocyparis leylandi 'Golconda'

Cupressocyparis leylandi ‘Golconda’

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.

IMG_1983 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). IMG_2051 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.

IMG_2054For good luck I added this “owl,” a gift from my daughter, to watch over the plants and ward off the bad guys.

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.

About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in a retirement community in Matthews, NC.
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13 Responses to A Project Completed

  1. The ‘problem’ has turned into a wonderful addition to a beautiful garden. The stone work is fantastic. Great results from a lot of hard work. Hey, no more stone work!


  2. FlowerAlley says:

    Wonderful job. Great contrast in color and leaf shape. Go John!


  3. Pauline says:

    Well done, that looks wonderful. I like your choice of plants too, they will make a lot of interest while your tree is growing.


  4. pbmgarden says:

    Well done to go ahead and tackle the problem. Great solution. I love the purple crape myrtles.


  5. Looks great! And I think that rain means you have divine approval. And what did you get for those thirteen tons of stone? Another day older and deeper in debt? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)


  6. I know you must be a bit tired moving those heavy paving blocks. You solved a problem with a good solution. Nice job.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bittster says:

    Much improved John. Little garden spots like that are always the most fun and really make for a fun (in retrospect) project.


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