We began working with this island at least five years ago (time blurs when you’re having a good time). First we had to dig up the sod, then plant the crape myrtles. Then we had to figure out the ground cover.
The first year we tried mulch over ground cloth. That did NOT work. Don’t ask me why, but our yard is where everything you DID NOT plant on purpose comes to live. And it lives large, let me tell you.
The next year, we tried creeping phlox. They weren’t happy, either. Although a few remained that still bloom in the spring…out of the 20+ we bought.
Next, it was groundcover roses. Folks said, Just buy Knockout roses — they’re great! Except they don’t smell good. What’s a rose w/out fragrance? Gertrude Stein was wrong: a rose is NOT a rose if it doesn’t smell good. It’s just some double flower that’s hard for bees to work.
All this took time, obviously. And then it was the three years of first they sleep, then they creep, then they LEAP! Courtesy of my old lady gardeners, y’all.
Now, five years later, I have roses. Beautiful mounds of roses! But it took years of ‘failure,’ from which we learned. And studying, and figuring out. And just TIME.
I’m sure you see the lesson I’m finally ‘getting.’ But I confess: I’ll probably forget it when I plant the next tree! At least until next spring, when the roses bloom again…