Prepping for pool parties

When we moved into this house, the beds around the pool were overgrown with ivy.

That first winter I was so gung-ho about gardening around the pool that I went out and killed all the ivy as soon as I could. Problem is, I didn’t realize that the ivy was hiding a deep layer of chunky white rocks – the kind older folks decorate their yard with – above a thick layer of black plastic. I tried my best to get rid of the stuff, but have you ever tried shoveling out a bed of rocks? It ain’t happening. I couldn’t get to that black plastic, and I couldn’t pull it up no matter how hard I tried.

I should have left the ivy alone. It is the only thing that could have thrived there on the neglected rocks, and at least it had been green. But it stayed dead. All year. Talk about eyesores – it was embarrassing to invite people over. (I hope this house has faith in us because we’ve inflicted more uglification on it in the name of remodeling…)

And then a few days ago I got the itch to change that. I got out my rake, wheelbarrow, and trusty helper and began to clear the ugly away. All except the healthy honeysuckle, because it is one of my favorite fragrances and I wouldn’t terribly mind having that all over the fence. Even though it can be a bit of a beast sometimes.

I decided that if I couldn’t dig deep beds for perennials and didn’t want to propagate more English Ivy, the only other option was sod. It comes with its own soil, it’s shallow-rooted so it doesn’t need deep beds below it, it’s green and quick and easy maintenance. And you can sit and sunbathe on it, extending the useful around the pool.

Josh ended up getting in on the project too. After I cleared and covered the rocks with an inch of compost/topsoil mix, he fetched and installed all that sod by himself!

Et voila.

Turns out the sod didn’t quite cover, so I filled the back section with more compost/topsoil mix and planted poor-soil-thriving perennials like oregano and lavender and pinks.


By the time the lavender fills out in about three years, we should have a wee bit more privacy. Even without it though, I love how much cleaner it looks! It’s about time!

2 Responses to “Prepping for pool parties”

  1. heidi Says:

    Did you put in watering pipelines too? That’s what the pictures in the middle look like.
    Much cleaner, but yes, for a while, more visible…May the lavender grow and prosper…”V”

  2. diana Says:

    I laid a soaker hose along the back – it’s so easy since it’s all a straight line! – After all the problems Dada has with drip irrigation, I don’t think I’ll ever try that. Especially since we have to water so infrequently around here, and these are drought-tolerant plants. I don’t mind visibility as long as it looks nice! :)

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