A fine mess

The photo series A year in a new garden documents the breaking out and replacement of a concrete driveway, big tree pruning, soil building, and sheet mulching of invasive ivy patches front and back. This snapshot, from a recent fall afternoon here in Baltimore City, is of the young patch of perennial wildflowers that replaced ivy in the back yard. The perennials planted last fall and last spring include milkweed, agastache, bergamot and giant blue lobelia. The goldenrod creeping in frame left is a welcome interloper from the neighbor’s yard. A pin oak sapling might just be visible in a slow effort to remove trees from under a power line and plant new ones well inside the garden borders. If it looks unkempt, it’s because the ground cover is largely left unmolested apart from reducing it with a string trimmer every couple of months. A perfect lawn isn’t perfect to …

Because, gazing

This series charts the conversion of a sloping 12-feet-wide by 36-feet-long long concrete yard to a garden.

Change in a place sold for its climate

Imported water gave Southern California's public gardens and urban canopy a tropical wash. Drought is re-landscaping the region.

Weed cloth always fails

One of the few things that weed cloth is good for is growing weeds. Fugitive dust settling in the gravel or wood mulch topping soon creates a potting mix perfect for rye grass, burclover or whatever seeds might blow in.

Rat-proofing row homes in Baltimore

Former mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake rat-proofed Baltimore's trash but left recycling for the vermin. This new receptacle by two of the city's most notable art welders and a Californian garden writer offers a prototype shed that could secure trash and recycling while eliminating visual blight caused by the bins.
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