For over two years now, I’ve had my garden design set in my mind. Featured plants have shifted as I’ve fallen more in love with the idea of an all native garden, but one constant has been the decomposed granite I wanted for my hardscaping. But you may have noticed throughout my previous posts that this has never gone in… Instead, I’ve battled with trying to keep the grass from taking over my large areas of bare dirt (failing miserably).
Well, about a month ago, I realized that, no, I’m never likely have enough money saved up and enough other projects finished, to make me finally order that beautiful but expensive decomposed granite. So, I decided to change my design and describe my hardscaping choice from now on as “Economical”. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars to order and install granite, I would pick up wood chips from next to the dog park I bring Zelda to…. for FREE! I may have had my heart set on granite but having all the wood chips I could ever need just there for the taking and absolutely FREE does compensate for the loss.
So almost two weeks ago now, I laid down some weed suppressing fabric and spread out my wood chips.
And magically!! My garden design is pulled to together. My Garden actually looks complete in that circle. Yes, the bamboo sticks are still there to keep the dog out of the beds and there is grass everywhere outside the circle and planting beds but even so it all makes sense now. And did I mention? The chips are FREE!!
Just here, and in a few other spots, you can see the proper effect of mature plants lining the path. This sedum contrasts beautifully with the chips and covers the edge perfectly.
Also, I’ve come so far round, that I actually think I prefer these chips to decomposed granite. It feels a bit less formal but mostly I like the salt and peppery coloring. Also, I’ve seen images of the installed granite before after a rain and it can look muddy, but the wood chips will never have a muddy texture. In fact, even when wet, the chips don’t change color much. The brightness will fade in year or so but to maintain, you just need to spread a light new layer on top.
Unexpectedly, Zelda has come in handy in a way. The larger pieces that I accidentally scooped up when getting the chips I just need to throw to Zelda and she’ll tear them into tiny pieces. Also, I wasn’t planning on having the above path but as that silly dog has compacted the area by running over it again and again for the last half year, I decied to finally move the one poor Geum she’d been abusing out of the way and mulched it.
And, just in case you aren’t aware, these wood chips come from local tree service companies. These in particular are from trees chipped in the East Bay Regional Parks, that’s why I was just able to go scoop it up. But you can contact tree service companies in your town, wherever that may be, and they’ll dump their chips in your drive for free because otherwise, they have to pay to bring it to the dump.