Autumn Magic in My Garden

In May of 2023, I moved to a house in Water Valley, MS. Unfortunately, the house had absolutely zero landscaping.

My house in Water Valley, MS, in May of 2023

If you look carefully at the photo above, you will be able to see that the issue was made even worse by an ugly air conditioner unit right outside my screened porch door. When I first moved here, I knew that my first project would be that of building a garden wall around that eyesore. You see, I am no stranger to the task of building garden walls. I created a massive garden wall in my garden in the Ozark mountains. But my space is different at my Water Valley home. This garden wall will be much smaller than the one in the Ozarks.

Garden Wall June 7, 2023.

I began building my Water Valley garden wall on about June 1, 2023. By June 7, I had added a few plants.

Jacki Kellum Garden June 8, 2023.

By June 8, 2023, I had covered an 8′ x 20′ area with cardboard, and I added some exterior grade 2’x8′ boards to create raised beds.

Why Use Cardboard in a Garden?

Using cardboard is a fabulous garden tip. Cardboard almost completely blocks the growth of grass and weeds, and worms love it. They come in droves to feed on the cardboard and in doing so, they continuously til and aerate the soil. A few worms ultimately turn into many worms, and voila! Your garden soil is amended.

Jacki Kellum Garden June 21, 2023.

By June 21, 2023, I had added more garden soil and more plants. In the above photo, you see Heavenly Blue Speedwell, some portulaca plants [or purslane or moss flowers], white lobelia, and a Kismet coneflower. Kismets have a lower growth habit than Sombrero coneflowers, and they are more nearly a perfect red. In the back right corner, you see tall Shasta Daisy plants, and in the back left corner, you see a large forsythia plant. It arches over and hides the water hydrant on the back wall.

The same area in August of 2023

The summer of 2023 was brutally hot, and I simply did not have enough soil for much to grow well in my garden that year.

But on September 28, 2023, I had a large load of gin trash delivered to my garden area, and in less than 2 weeks, things in my garden have improved.

Jacki Kellum Garden October 10, 2023

The above area is a huge raised bed. The back of this area is about 10″ deep. I raised the area where the table sits and where the walkway is by about 5″. I plan to grow wisteria and roses over the arches. In the distance, you see the stand of goldenrod — In reality, that spot is about 30′ wide, and 8′ deep, and it is brilliantly yellow–in spite of the fact that this area has never been artificially watered. The ground there is as hard as a rock.

Native Goldenrod Growing at the Back of Jacki Kellum’s Garden – July 7, 2023

In July, I discovered a huge stand of Canadian goldenrod in the empty lot next door. Yeah, I know. This is more invasive than other goldenrods, but hey, this one is free, and it has elected to live right next to me–and in a vacant lot. Like other goldenrods, this gal is goldenly glorious in fall, and bees love her. And no! Goldenrod does not make you sneeze. That is ragweed.

I did transplant a small sprig of that goldenrod to my garden area, and I first noticed that it had bloomed in September.

Jacki Kellum Garden September 29, 2023

Canadian Goldenrod and White Oldfield Aster. The Oldfield Aster is another native plant. I hope to grow quite a bit of it. It looks like baby’s breath to me.

Jacki Kellum Garden October 10, 2023
Coleus blossoms and white Oldfield Aster.

Jacki Kellum Garden October 10, 2023
Hardy perennial pink mammoth mum and white Oldfield Aster