Stock Troughs to Container Garden…

Fall is quickly approaching so I am trying to cram in as many outdoor project posts as possible – my way of dragging out the summer!

The back half of our south side yard had been dirt and weeds for a few years.

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It took me awhile to finally get a plan in motion – like 2 years.  I know – 2 years does seem like a long time to be planning such a small area.  In my defense I feel like there were some challenges to the space that I struggled to problem solve.  It is a south facing (hot and dry), narrow area (maybe 5 feet wide at most) bordered by the house on one side and a 6 foot fence on the other.  This translates to sunny along the house but shady along the fence.  I also had to figure out room for a walking path and drainage for the roof gutters.

I finally decided to do containers for plantings along the house – mostly to control/minimize the water drainage near the house so as to not damage the foundation with watering.  I searched yards, books and the internet for months looking for ideas – finally, I found it – stock troughs – perfect for my long narrow space!   The guy at the local ranch supply store said they sell a bunch of these for container gardening – who knew..

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Next step was to order up some planters mix from a local landscaping materials company.  I spent a day hauling the dirt to the troughs – bucket by bucket – neighbors felt sorry for me – one offered a wheelbarrow.  I think I counted 30ish buckets per trough – it was great exercise!

Next, we made a trip to the local stone yard and picked up some flagstone for the foot path.

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The roof gutter drainage problem was solved by creating a dry creek bed/drainage swell along the shady fence side.  This involved two trips to the local landscaping materials yard to procure small river rocks.

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A call to the sprinkler system guys to add irrigation to this area – and it was ready for planting!

Hens and chicks were the first plantings – I found a bunch on sale last fall.  I planted them along the dry creek bed as a border of sorts.

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In the spring , we were at Lowe’s with my mom checking out plants – we found “Sedum Tiles” – these tiles were the best find of the season!  I planted it as ground cover between the flagstone stepping stones.  I love these tiles so much that when I came across some at the local nursery, I bought up a bunch more for the “sculpture garden” area (more on this area in the future).  Anyway, these sedums have  thrived – they are spreading and filling in beautifully.

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I am trialing a mini strawberry field as a ground cover along the house.  These have done quite well, so I am planning to fill in all along the side of the house next spring.  This will make the squirrels and birds very, very, very happy!

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The troughs got artichokes, peppers, asparagus, and marigolds.

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Finally, the hostas were moved from the front garden (which is also getting a makeover in the near future) to their own zone.  They are looking good so far.

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It is really surprising to us how good this area looks in such a short time.  Tad keeps saying that it is all about the water…

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Oh – and I think I have started a trough trend in the neighborhood.  A few blocks away, troughs have shown up in a front yard!  You saw it here first!  Well sort of – I think I actually saw it on Houzz first.

Moving on to the front south side yard – rearranging some plants, moving the foot path, and more…

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