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.


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..


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.


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.


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.


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.



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!


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


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.


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…


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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