This past summer I had a dilemma. No matter how much I watered the south side of my yard, I could not keep a slight rise up the middle, as green as the surrounding lawn. So my solution was to till it up and make an island garden bed. Like all things on my list, this project started off small. After much consideration and three days reshaping a 150' garden hose into a boomerang shape, this new bed design ended up much larger than it started. "All garden beds should wrap around the house so they look good from all angles." That is what I kept telling my rototiller wrestling husband as he tilled, re-tilled and tilled some more. One very valuable lesson I have learned being surrounded by pasture and field is this: use weed cloth, life will be far less complicated with weed cloth. I started using river rock when we first bought this house because it reminded me of Dunsmuir. Many times as I drove to the Salmon River, 60 miles away, to get more river rock, I have regretted this decision. But it always ends up looking nice (I think) and it holds down weed cloth beautifully. What these pictures don't show are all of the plants that now reside in this new bed. Of course I always feel the need to plant in the hottest part of the summer so it will be interesting to see if most of the new plantings come back this spring. I planted lots of shrubs; roses, buddleia, barberry, as well as many perennials and daylillies. I like things that I plant once and prune rarely. I am somewhat of a lazy gardener. I like to do new things but I don't like things that, once established, are high maintenance. Now... only look at the new garden bed. The planting around the perimeter of the yard are in later installments of my yard plan. Heather's yard 2.0, and the foundation planting are to come after the house is re-sided. I have to do things in the order they make most sense around here. I have a hard time doing the same project more than once so slow and steady wins the race.