It's a perfect little project to inspire Do-It-Yourselfers & weekend gardeners looking to spruce up their landscape without breaking the bank. Simple designs are affordable, easy to install & can be very easy to maintain. Just one Pillywiggin completed this project in about 8 hours start to finish.
The bed was cut in & the prep work completed late on a Saturday afternoon. We chose to work around the Chamber's hours of operation so we wouldn't disturb business, theirs or ours! It was a cool, rainy day - perfect digging weather. Damp soil made it easier to pull weeds & remove the sod around the sign. The light rain also helped water-in the repairs made to the lawn & settle the new compost/topsoil. In a few hours time the bed was complete, mulched & ready for plants.
For this project, we were able to reuse the topsoil & sod cut from the new bed area to repair a problem spot in the lawn. A large dip between the drive & new sign with sparse grass coverage, no doubt the underground electrical service to the sign. To repair this area, sod & topsoil clumps were reused to fill in the low spot. Clumps were turned upside down (sod down, roots up). Fresh topsoil was added & the area was reseeded by hand.
Goldflame spirea, daylily, catmint, blanket flower, black eye Susan, Shasta daisy & sedum
We chose low-maintenance perennials that provide color & interest spring through fall, limited in height so they won't block the sign as they grow. Our color pallet includes white mixed with various shades of yellow & orange repeating the colors in the Chamber's logo. Those colors really POP! against the Chamber's dark blue sign.
A touch of blue from the catmint and a dash of pink from the spirea & sedum blooms will keep things interesting. Two flats of orange & yellow variegated marigolds were added for instant color while we wait for the perennials to fill in. We'll go back in the fall to plant a colorful mix of spring bulbs also in shades of white, yellow & orange.
Layout & Planting
Laying out plants is the fun part of the job. Pillywiggins rely heavily on the ol' eyeball using our sketches as loose guides. Take your cues from Mother Nature. Play around with your design before you start digging. Read the plant tags for height, width, bloom time & color then arrange plants in odd numbered groups switching up the different colors & textures of the plants. Keep tinkering & rearranging plants until you achieve visual balance without being too symmetrical or too perfect.
Elk Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
Pillywiggins Garden, LLC joined the Elk Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce last fall, but we first became acquainted through their Annual Arts & Craft Shows. We've participated in several throughout the years. Here we are in 2012.
The Chamber hosts 3 arts & craft shows each summer on the streets of Downtown Elk Rapids. Note to our artist friends, the Chamber has by far the easiest, most efficient load in/out process of any event we have ever attended! We've always enjoyed participating in the Chamber Arts & Crafts Shows.
The Chamber also hosts a weekly Farmer's Market every Friday from June 1st to October 5th. We love this farmer's market & highly recommend the certified organic produce from our friends & neighbors at Providence Farm & CSA. Look for their booth at the market!