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Gardening in America
July  12,  2006, Yard and Landscape

by Nancy Fletcher

Flower bed in the back yard,  close to the  house.  Poplar trees and a Crepe Myrtle by them.  A Honeysuckle bush can hardly be seen. Mother gave this to me, year 1985. I have separated it once for a bush in front and one back here. The large leaf dark Cannas, orange Day Lily and  yellow four 0'clocks. Years ago I had a Mexican man come out to help me with the yard. He told me, "This soil is so poor you cannot hope to grow anything on it if you don't build beds.'

This he proceeded to do with a pick ax. By feeding these beds with mulch, potting soil, and kitchen scraps all winter long I have been able to build the soil in them. He dug down and instead of a raised bed they were a lowered bed which allows the water to run into them and hold it, instead of rushing off this hill. I recently watched a documentary of scientists who were studying the soil the Incas used on their hillside gardens. They discovered that the rich places were built up with charcoal which holds the nutrients in the ground instead of letting wash off. I bought some charcoal briquettes and will add to these beds this year.

Under the Cedar  trees before we trimmed them up. This ground is very rich and the tomato plants, squash are doing well. These are acid loving plants.

A mullein plant is at the corner of  this bed my daughter readied for winter brocolli plants

The same bed from a different angle. Because I broke my foot early in the spring my daughter had to take these beds over. She did a very good job with mulch, tiling and cleaning them up.

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