Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dry Creek Bed - Florida Style


........My house is small and my lot is big with much of it in the shade most of the time. The back yard is not suitable for grass, due to the shade and being prone to flooding a few times a year. When I moved here ten years ago, there was nearly nothing desirable growing in the back (or anywhere else) except for many trees, a few wild coffee bushes, one azalea bush and a few wild flowers. It was home to many, many weeds. There was also a lot of bare white sandy soil where it seemed nothing would grow, not even weeds. I disliked the bare sand the most. I began trying different things with little success for the longest time. Assorted types of ferns and other small shade loving plants finally took root and began to fill in the emptiness. Oh, and a few kinds of ground-covers and, after ten years most of the back is covered with something that looks o.k. There was still one area close to the back of the house however, that needed an improved look. A few years ago I had covered a small portion of that with what I called a dry creek bed but wasn't satisfied with it and had always intended to lengthen it. Finally this week I did just that and, so far, I am very pleased with the overall look and am excited to show it to you.



 The stone path has been here awhile and the first stage of the dry creek stopped at the upper edge of the path and was not as wide. It needed some larger stones which were added along with the new lengthening addition last week.



Another long shot showing the corner of the screen porch and where the "creek" begins.







In this photo you see the blue pot which is the source of  the creek. I stretched out a hose and first had the stone edge very straight and even but it didn't look good or natural so I messed up the edges.



When I first came here, all across the back of the porch and down to where the stone path is was nothing but weeds and eroding sand until I put in the Asiatic Jasmine. It was in a friends yard but deer kept eating it there. One day she brought over bunches of Jasmine roots for me to plant. It took awhile but finally filled in the whole area. I haven't seen any grazing deer! I mow it with my weed whacker. 



This is looking  back towards the source from the bottom where the creek enters a cluster of Papyrus plants, some walking lilies and a few other plants. You can see that there is a noticeable incline which helps with the "flow". Which also explains the flooding/standing water problem - the back yard was never filled in or graded as it should have been.



Oh yes, this is where my mosaic birdbath is too. Now I will show a few up-close pictures so you can better see what makes up the dry creek bed.




Most of the stone is marble chips and the round ones are called egg rocks, a different type stone which really made the whole thing look more like a creek bed. I hope to eventually add about five much larger round stones here and there along the length of the creek. That probably means another trip back to Pebble Junction.



There are quite a few sea shells and also sea glass. I ran across a large bag of nice large and medium size shells at the Christmas Tree Store. Believe it or not, shells are usually expensive to buy around here but these weren't and added greatly to the look. Some of them are about five inches across. Even though they look better like I have them, I plan to turn over the large ones that catch water to prevent running a mosquito farm.












Now. there is that fact that I live under a bunch of trees and they will be dropping leaves in my creek bed!  If I can't keep this neat I am not going to like it. Can you envision me out there picking up leaves and pine needles, one by one.  Actually, I have a small electric blower that does a pretty good job of blowing leaves. You can take my word for it, it would take a hurricane to blow the rocks around. Those things are heavy! I do know it probably looks better right now than it ever will again so, you better hurry on over if you want to see it at it's very best. Ideally, I would rather have the look of a dry creek that you might see meandering through the Smokey Mountains with all it's round, brown, water tumbled rocks but for this location I think this choice fits in pretty good, considering the palms and tropical plants.

17 comments:

  1. Yep. You are a gardener. A REAL gardener. Your dedication to growing plants in a "hostile" environment is inspiring. Good job on the creek bed. I think you work more in one day than I work all week!

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    1. I do put in some hard working days, seems like more than I ever have but, it is very rewarding. I doubt very much if I work more in one day than you do all week, though.

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  2. It sure looks good. I wish it were in the mtns tho. It would look much better but for this area it does the job great.

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  3. this is so great. we are thinking of putting in a dry creek so loved seeing yours.

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  4. I am glad you were able to see it. Get yours done and share pictures!

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  5. I am agreeing with Joanne: you, Betty, are a real gardener! What a wonderful job you have done on this project!

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  6. What a beautiful job you did! Your garden seems so exotic to me, but of course it's what you are used to. It makes for a beautiful view. All your hard work has paid off!

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    1. Thank you, Jacqueline. I am always happy to get your thoughts here.

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    2. Thanks for coming over. I am glad you love what I did.

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  8. It is simply amazing there! So beautiful!

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    1. Thanks for taking time to stop by. I am glad you like it.

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  9. Such a cute idea! love the container spilled over into the path! thank you for linking up to Fishtail Cottage's Garden Party this week! xoox, tracie

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  10. Oh what a fun yard, I love how you have mixed in all of the seashells!!!

    Carol

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  11. How beautiful! And you would have to check my pockets when I left to see how many seashells and seaglass pieces I picked up! What a neat idea! Enjoy your week! Hugs!

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