Last weekend my husband went to the hardware store and came home with a sledgehammer! I knew what this meant: the concrete curb in the middle of our yard was coming down. Yippee!
Evidently it used to be a “cabana” tent area, and the curb had holes for tent poles.
As cool as a cabana tent sounds, we never saw ourselves having one (or putting it there if we did.)
We did, however, see ourselves tripping over the curb in a frenzy to grab the perfect fig from the fig trees some afternoon or after a margarita or two some evening. In addition to being potentially dangerous, we also though it just looked odd and closed off the space:
Here’s another shot of it:
It was pretty incredible to watch (no, I didn’t take a turn at the bat) and the whole thing was finished much faster than I would have imagined it possible. Each piece of the curb cracked pretty easily into halves, which Charlie was able to break up or dig out of the ground. The hardest part seemed to be moving the concrete chunks away afterwards. Half of them are now lining the end of our driveway and the other half are temporarily at the back of the yard. Even so, the space looks so much more open without that curb! (Although bare naked without any tree foliage and with those fig trees pruned back so much.)
Miraculously, that very day I saw an ad on FreeCycle – someone had done a huge garden renovation and was giving away fill dirt! Once Charlie took the out the curb, we were left with an empty “moat” around the circle, so free fill dirt was music to my ears. It’s times like these, though, that I do wish we had a car. It just comes with the territory of living in NYC that sometimes you’re going to call a car service and ask for a mini van, and when they show up you’re going to have an old sheet and 6 contractor bags of soil.
If we knew someone with a truck or some movers with great rates, I would have stocked up on more in a heartbeat. We simply didn’t have a way to inexpensively transport it. That, plus each bag was at least 50 pounds…not an easy task to load and unload.
We got enough to fill in the area and still have a little to spare for my half-wine barrels, though!
Now we are looking for something to plant in that dirt, and in the other scrappy looking areas of the “lawn.” Last year grass didn’t grow so well in the front half of the yard because the fig trees cast so much shade. We’re not really sure what to expect this year. We’re looking into some low-growing ground covers, at least for around the circle.
Right now we’re considering some combination of:
Blue Star Creeper
Blue Star Creeper close up:
or maybe even some MOSS. This is sort of what we may be going for:
http://www.steppables.com claims to have several plants (including those I’ve listed above) that can handle a small degree of foot traffic, and http://www.mossacres.com sells “moss millkshakes.” Hmmm.
I guess mulch is always an option too!
Anyone have any experience with any of those plants?