Jun
08
2010

  Row-to-Row Carpet in the Garden

Until today I was creating paths through the garden using either newspaper or cardboard. They're fine, but can get slippery when wet, and tend to shift around until they finally settle into a position. Some items never seem to settle down.

But the other day I was walking over the old carpet T has down over the driveway, and noted how nice it felt under my bare feet, even after being outside since February. Right then, I decided to carpet my garden paths.

This morning, I cut some 2' wide sections, and carpeted the path between the two concentric arcs. I also cut a quarter-round section to use to the left side of the bay window, in the large staging area.

It is SO much nicer to walk on, and even better to KNEEL on while I'm planting and weeding, that I'm now considering using carpet in my "final" garden design.

My only reservation is that it looks really ghetto compared to having nice brick-bordered beds with pea-gravel paths or granite-bordered beds with river stone paths. But it really would not be comfortable to kneel or sit on either pea gravel or river stone. Even if I made full-brick paths, I'd still need to carry around some sort of kneeling pad when I did work in the garden. Not so with the carpet. It's really cushy and soft as far as ground covers go. It's even better than mulch (although mulch is more comfortable than stone).

So I've given some thought to what I really want out of the garden. My first inclination is that I want the finished project (to be completed in future years) to look like a garden in a magazine, or at the very least, worthy of a garden in the local garden tour (not that there is much difference, the gardens on the tour are very nice). But I did come up with the whole vision for the landscaping on this place when T and I were childless and there was a lot of free cash flow. I was fine with the gardener having to carry around kneeling pads to work, that's what gardeners do. But now that there is no guaranteed likelihood that I'll have a gardener in the future (although if I ever have an excellent year trading, you bet that I'll hire someone), I have to take into consideration my own ability to maintain the grounds here.

And so, given the reality that I'm more likely to give the garden the care and attention that it will require to thrive if it's comfortable for me to work out there, I'm leaning towards carpeting as much as possible. We have more leftover carpet-- it's currently blocking out weeds in the driveway. But I will commandeer it for use in my garden, bit by bit. I also got permission from a local carpet company last year to take whatever carpet out of their dumpster that I wanted (this was before we got our OWN old carpet ripped out to use on our driveway), so I might take them up on that if I run out of carpet that's already here.

I'll add photos and possibly a video when I have the whole thing carpeted, I don't know how long that will take.