This is the section of the yard I’ve been working on.
New features: 1 new 4′x4′ raised bed. New edging around the garden. Hazelnut shell mulch on the garden paths and around trees. Stella Cherry tree (dwarf). Frost Peach tree (Semi-Dwarf) and 8 Thuja Occ. in Emerald Green. We chose these to try filling in where a section of fence blew over last winter. It cost about $30 less to plant the arborvitae than to buy new fence materials. I am really just hoping that none of these die out this year.
The hazelnut shell mulch is a” new to us” attempt at keeping some soft footed critters out of our garden area. So far, the dog hates them and avoids these areas, which is a good sign. I’m more concerned about neighborhood cats who like to crap in our raised beds. (Do not want cat poo next to my carrots.) If rabbits don’t like them it is a bonus. We have read that slugs and snails don’t like to cross hazelnut shell mulch. I guess we’ll see.
Other benefits are that they will last a long time (they do not break down anywhere near as fast a wood or hay mulch. They also excel at helping the soil beneath retain water. Finally, I like the way they look. The color is similar to western hemlock that is sun dried.
Drawbacks are two… They are sharp and will be rough on bare feet and they do not break down very fast. If we get tired of them, they will be around for a long time to come. Worse comes to worse we can mulch over them with something else and they will degrade over time, out of sight, out of mind. I think we will like them over the long haul.
Next items for the yard are a pergola and pavers to create an outdoor room space and a new garden shed. Stay tuned to read more on that sometime in the future.