Landscaping with herbs at the Leuda May Historic Apartments

The biggest project on my plate at the Leuda May apartments is the large flower bed on the inside of the property. It’s to the left when you come in the main gate and can be seen a little bit from the street.

When Eddie, the landlord and owner, turned over care of the bed to me I had a lot of ideas. I’ve since narrowed it down to a few things I’d like to focus on: herbs, flowers that bring in beneficial bugs and pollinators and maybe a few other edibles.

Here’s what the bed looked like before I began working on it and doing winter prep. It was overgrown with weeds.

I don’t think anyone had tended these beds all summer. So, they were quite a mess. I started by pulling out the dead plants and weeds. By the time I was done, I’d removed most of what needed to go. The only thing I had trouble with was some of the weeds with  taproots. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get those out right away. I chopped off the top parts and left the roots to deal with in the spring. My hoe broke in October, and I haven’t had a chance to get another one, although a friend of mine has an extra for me to pick up when I get the chance.

In any case, the beds look much better now.

I didn’t want to throw away the plant matter I pulled up and removed. So, I broke it up and put it into an abandoned plastic trash can someone had once used for composting. It had holes drilled in all over it to allow in air. Then I dug a huge hole and put the trash can into the ground to make a sunken compost bin. I don’t really like the way it looks. I’m going to take it out and put the material straight into the hole I made, removing the trellis I rigged up to keep dogs out of it, too.

I had zinnias planted in the plastic trash can, but when I decided to use it for compost I moved those flowers to a broken pot that was in the overgrown bed. They’re thriving and look quite beautiful. Beside this area, I planted a bunch of garlic.

The lavender, which was already in the bed, has also started blooming. I think it is much happier now that it’s not choked with weeds.

I’m thinking that there is only a couple more tasks to do before I let this bed sit until the spring. Here is my to-do list:

  1. Cover the exposed dirt with newspaper and then 4 to 6 inches of leaf mulch.
  2. Find some way to fence it in or add a border so that the dogs will stop pooping in there.
  3. Talk to my landlord about removing the shrubs in the back come spring and re-homing them in a place around the property where a shrub has died.
  4. Trim the rosemary back and use it for holiday projects and cooking.

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