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Lakeside bark path

In spring this year I realised that the lovely plants we had planted a year ago beside the lake were about to get completely swamped by a particularly virulent reed. I tracked down the reed and discovered it was called pendulous sedge. A quick scoot around the net about this reed and I discovered that although some people loved it and encouraged it, most commented that it was a pest because so invasive.

Top left – lime green crenulated leaves. Top right – long pendulous seed heads Bottom – our lakeside bed in May – the sedge looks lovely and lush, but the plants were rapidly taking over, including the soil path beyond

I chatted to our gardener, Gail, and we came up with a plan.

  1. Pull out as many of the sedge plants as possible

  2. Create a path using a mulch layer of bark chippings which would block out the light (with weed supressing fabric under this for extra measure).

  3. Fill the gaps in the bed with less invasive plants to give the sedge less opportunity to move in

I spent the next few months putting the path together and here is the finished result.

Steps to building the path:

  1. Clear pathway of weeds and debris.

  2. Lay out weed control fabric (I used this one).

  3. Peg it down to keep it in place (I used these plastic pegs, but I’d rather use metal in future – these bent easily when hammered in – so not even ‘single use’!)

  4. Lay out logs or large branches along the sides.

  5. Hammer in wooden pegs to keep logs in place (I only needed this on the lakeside, just because they could roll down the slope so easily. On the flat they might not be needed).

  6. Pour bark chippings over the top. We source ours from a local tree surgeon who delivers in big tonne bag. We needed two full bags for our path which is about 25 m long and 1 m wide. The bark is about 2 inches deep.

I had lots of help from the family crew

Before the winter Gail and I will get our heads together again about stage 3 of the plan – getting rid of that big gap at the back of the bed which will be just begging for the sedge to move in again if we don’t fill it up. Gail has cunning plans re moving and dividing the plants we already have here – will update you in another post!

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