Off I went to the nearest Walmart where I bought up pink, rose, yellow, white, and apricot packaged roses for $3 each and I ended up with over fifty of them. I used the bank as the basis of my rose garden design. I made planting holes in the sod and planted the roses with garlic around them. Roses love garlic you know. Garlic is supposed to repel aphids.
I am too old to have the energy to use a big tiller, hoe, etc. to fight weeds in the garden so, I called my farmer friend Adrian and got a large round bale of hay. The hay would smother the grass/weeds, keep the soil moist, and as it decomposes it will enrich my heavy clay and limestone soil. Thank you Ruth Stout, your books are my inspiration!
I laid cardboard and newspapers thickly around the roses and covered them as thickly as I could with hay. The hay covered paper began to smother the sod and I had a rose garden!
Here is a photo of my hay mulched rose garden, taken in July.
During the same time I was working on the roses, I was also trying to start my vegetable garden. I used the old railroad ties I removed from the bank, and bought lots more at the local farm supply store to create three raised beds directly on the sod. The raised beds were 8 by 16 feet. I used my dad's steel fence posts to support the trellis I was installing down the length of each bed. I found wire cattle panel fencing at the farm supply store for $20 a panel that were about 12 feet long. Wired to the steel fence posts, the panels became my permanent vegetable trellises. No rinky dink tomato cages for me!
I used more of the hay from the huge round bale to mulch my first 3 raised beds. Then, I planted my vegetables through the hay mulch, watered them, and waited.
And here is a photo of my hay mulched vegetable garden taken at the time. Note the young asparagus plants on the left.
Here is the start of my herb garden. I planted sage, lovage, basil, sorrel, french tarragon, spearmint, peppermint, chives, oregano, rosemary, salad burnet, thyme, and a few others.
Along with a rose garden, I have always ardently prayed for a water garden. I never thought I would get one, but my yard guy had a Bobcat! Suddenly it was possible. Between the Bobcat, the yard guy, a pond liner, and the multitude of limestone rock in my yard we were able to get a small water garden going. The weekly farm auction gave me the "stone" fountain for only $22. And here is my water garden at the base of my rose garden bank.
Isn't it wonderful? I have photos!