Garden Switcheroo

This morning I was trying to explain to a friend that I have to move some plants from one bed to another bed in order to have certain areas empty next spring when we redo some fence sections.  Since all I was doing was confusing her, I thought I’d try to explain here and include some pictures.  Pictures might help make the whole mess clearer.

When we first moved in three years ago this coming October, I was all excited to finally have a place to garden.  And so I just willy-nilly threw plants in the ground.  Literally.  I put daffodil bulbs in the grassy areas of the back yard without any real thought about where I might eventually build beds.  And then I decided to put garden beds along the back fence and so began putting plants in along one section that I was able to dig up.

Unfortunately, there’s a utility easement that runs along the back fence line and we have a Charter pedestal in the middle of that area.  So I have to be very careful when I dig – I don’t need to dig up or break any cables.  And I also have to be cognizant of the fact that Charter could come in at any time needing to put in new lines.

The pedestal in the middle of the fence area has cable running to six different houses (that I’m aware of), and all of those have to feed (at least to begin with) through my yard in various places.  I have learned, though, that they (Charter) never dig up the existing line if they have a problem.  They simply disconnect that line at the pedestal, connect a new line, and then string that new line across the yard, digging it in only just a couple of inches under the grass.

Knowing this, I’ve decided that I can put a raised bed most anywhere and if the cable buried underneath ever needs repair, they can just string another cable through the bed or around the bed – I suspect they’ll choose the path of least resistance.  That certainly seems to have been the case in the past – we had a cable running from the pedestal across the grass and under the fence to the house north of us, literally laying on top of the ground, for several months in 2016.

So, to build these new beds, I’m going to put some sort of barrier against the back fence (so the wood doesn’t rot), then landscape pavers where I want, and fill in between with fresh soil and compost, probably layering with cardboard and the newspapers I’ve been saving up.

The next issue is that there are sections of the back fence line that we are going to replace next year.  And along one of those sections I’ve already planted (see my willy-nilly paragraph), so those items will need to be removed and also the dirt I’ve added will need to be removed.  Many of the plants would be better off in a location where they get slightly more sunshine.

All pictures were taken standing at the back door.

Northeast section of back fence.

Along this red fence is where I need to build up a garden bed this fall.  All of the plants you see along that fence line are currently in containers and most would be much happier in the ground.  Some of the plants that will be moved can go here while others would be better off in an area that gets more sunshine.  It’s possible that would be the side yard, but I’m still undecided how the side yard gardens are going to be laid out.

You can also see the lovely green pedestal where the fence changes color from red to brown.

Southeast section of back fence.


This is one of the sections of fence (the brown) that will be replaced next spring and where items are planted that need to be moved.  I’ve got 30 lily bulbs, multiple gladioli bulbs, three hosta plants, two dianthus, and two chrysanthemums.  The willy-nilly daffodil bulbs are in the yard in front of this bed and I don’t have a clue where they are, so I will have to wait until next spring to dig those up.

Back yard south side fence.


This older faded fence is also to be replaced next spring, up to the lighter colored fence that is in behind the compost bin.  You can see my raised bed of zinnias to the left and the compost bins to the right, along with multiple flags marking multiple utilities – Charter, CenturyLink, and Electric.  Both Charter and CenturyLink have cables running parallel to this fence from the back line to the street, one right with the fence and the other about a foot from it.  And Oncor has an electric line running parallel to that same fence about midway between the fence and the house.  So, as you can see, digging in the ground really isn’t much of an option.  It will have to be raised beds wherever I plant.

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