Side Lot Street Bed

This bed was originally just a few feet deep but began to erode away. (See next picture.)
It was extended back to about 10' deep over the period of September to December 2015.
This bed gets morning shade and afternoon sun and is not in the sprinkler system.
Originally this bed was intended to have only plants which are deer resistant and which don't need regular watering, but now that it is a larger bed, some exceptions were added.
The reason for so many irises is that they are deer resistant, they actually should NOT be watered during the summer (when we have droughts), and they are pretty much evergreen.
The hellebores will fill out in a year or two. They bloom during the winter, are poisonous to deer, and drought tolerant.
The petunias and angel trumpet are annuals (the only ones in our yard), but bloom profusely. We over-winter them in the garage.
The fritillaria has an odor which is a deer repellent, hopefully helping to protect the azaleas behind them. (Ditto for allium.)
The daisies, ajuga, verbena, allium and yarrow are all deer resistant and drought tolerant.

April 11, 2016:      Click here for May 25, 2016.

Pages for plants in the bed:

Angel Trumpet          Canna Lily          Hydrangea Tree          Azalea         
Petunia          Hellebore          Columbine          Daisy          Fritillaria          Yarrow          Crested Iris         
Hyacinth          Ajuga          Geranium          Primula          Iris          Allium          Daffodil          Spirea          Verbena         

Irises in the bed:

May 5, 2015.   The original bed which was just a couple of feet deep.   Pictures below show how the bed was extended back.
Plants which were tried in this bed and didn't survive include Mediterranean Pink, Toad Lilies, Rununculas, and several others.

Sept. 22, 2015:
The bed was only a few feet deep (from the street) then dropped down 7' to the level of our lot.
The soil had started to erode away, so the decision was made to extend the bed back another 8' or so using free Hot Springs city compost.
The estimate was that it take about 40 yards of compost plus 5 tons of rip rap (8" rocks).
The line of rocks on the right was the start of the base of the rip rap retaining wall. When soil reached the top of those rocks, another row of rocks
was placed half on the soil and half on the rocks below so that the retaining wall sloped in. This process continued to the top.

Nov. 9, 2015:
The depth of the bed (from the street) has about doubled in the picture below, but getting about six-tenths of a yard at a time in buckets in the back of our SUV was very slow.
The picture here looks like good progress, but there's still several more feet to go and the left side of the bed (far end in this pic) is being extended about twice as far back
from the street as the right (near) side.

Nov. 23, 2015:
Forty yards of top soil would have been over $1000 ($25/yard), which was way more than I wanted to spend on this project, especially considering the rip-rap would add to
that cost and could not be avoided, but going back and forth for free compost was just taking too long, so I got 20 yards (figured I was half done) of city pit at $8/yard with
free delivery. Rip-rap was 6 yards for about $30/yard. The city pit was used as the base, then topped off with 2'-3' of compost to plant in.

Dec. 9, 2015:
I tried to get Teen Challenge guys to do the work, but they never returned my half-dozen calls, so I started on it myself.
City pit cannot be shoveled out of a pile. A shovel will not penetrate the pile at all.
I had to use what we always called a "grubbing hoe" to chop out a thin layer of city pit onto the street pavement, then shovel that into a wheelbarrow.
Plants on the left side of the existing bed were dug up to make room to run the wheelbarrow to the back. The bed was extended from left to right.

View from below shows how the rip-rap was stacked up as the level of city pit went up. The rip-rap eventually reached a height of 7'-8'.
It can also be seen that the bed was originally being filled in with compost and then I switched to city pit for fill up to a height 2'-3' below
where the surface of the bed would be.

Dec. 24, 2015:
Teen Challenge finally returned a call and I got 3 guys (in their 20's - "teen" must be a figure of speech) for 3 hours in the afternoon to shovel the city pit.
The rip rap lasted just long enough to get the city pit up to where it needed to go. Three more yards of rip rap were ordered.
Unfortunately, a large number of stones in the rip rap, which I was told would average around 10"-12", were 24"-30" and weighed more than I could lift.
I put those aside and continued to get more compost to build up the bed, then I hired a couple of guys with a tractor who moved the big rocks to the top of the retaining wall.
They also scraped up the last of the city pit to extend the ramp into the side lot.

View from the back:


May 24, 2016:

The original ramp down into the lot was too steep, so it was extended with city pit and topped with compost (not finished yet).

In the original bed, the gravel crept into the planting area. Some border material was used to keep the gravel out.

Turn around to see a daffodil bed.

Go to street entry to main lot.

Side Lot overview Penstemon Center bed
Virginia Bluebells Crested Iris bed Daylily beds Fern bed
Daffodil bed 1 Daffodil bed 2 Azalea bed Goat's Beard
Daffodil bed 3
Street bed

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