Garden Rejuvenation = Lots of Digging

Two of my garden beds inside the terrace area were in need of some attention. The soil was awful: the dahlias never did well there, the largest hydrangea (left from the previous owner) was pink despite my adding acid to the soil, any lily I planted would have one pathetic bloom, the Clematis was not doing well… and on and on.


I had the soil tested earlier in the fall. Well, that’s all fine to do. BUT you need to know how to read the results! Tricky business, this soil thing.

Thanks to my wonderful and strong partner-in-garden-crime, Joe, we set to work.

I forgot to take a picture of the 14″ of soil that he removed!!! Many, many wheelbarrows full.

Joe transported LOTS of new, rich, dark, lovely soil! So, so beautiful.

And now, gorgeous healthy soil.

I couldn’t resist some pansies… We replanted several Hellebores, Clematis, Iris, and many Lily bulbs.  But the best part is that we planted three ‘Endless Summer’ Hydrangea. We added some Espoma Soil Acidifier just to make sure these plants would be blue in the spring! And, they should rebloom throughout the season. We shall see!

Yes indeed, the fence needed cleaning! Now you could really SEE it: so wonderful husband set to work.


A few days after finishing this project I realized the bed just opposite could use the same treatment!



We decided to not dig up the ‘wire vine’ along the foundation. Do you know it? Wonderful, airy and delicate leaves that will block a cement foundation beautifully.


More beautiful dark soil!

There you have it: brand new soil. Now I can’t wait until spring to start digging and planting again. I think that second bed will be mostly Dahlias; I will be ordering from Floret Flowers.

I would love to hear if you have ever totally “rejuvenated” a garden bed. How did it go?



  1. I hope your efforts reap great rewards in the coming year, Libby! I’ve been working on my soil practically since we moved in almost 7 years ago – in sections of course. My soil leans toward alkaline but that’s characteristic of the area. It’s also got a lot of sand, which is great for drainage but not too good when your region suffers from drought and there are restrictions on water use. As I removed lawn (it’s all gone now), I hauled in topsoil and amendments to improve the soil but it’s an ongoing process.

  2. NO!
    BUT BOY OH BOY have I wanted TO!I think it will make a BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!!
    I will be all EARS next SUMMER!!!!!!!!!
    LA CONTESSA recently posted…THE REAL BRENDA WELCH!My Profile

  3. I’m envious of that black gold! Our soil at the Maryland cottage is hard, compacted clay! Plus we have deer – lots of them. Happy December, my friend.

    • Hi Loi: I guess almost anywhere the soil benefits from a redo occasionally. We will see just how well it all does, come Spring! Merry Christmas and enjoy the season!

  4. That looks like hard work we have only sorted out some sections of border. I will look forward to seeing it the rewards of all that work. Sarah x