Jul 21

Just a couple of quick pictures.  I took the camera outside to get a picture of the current state of the garden.  As I went out I spotted the rose plant near the front door.  So I thought I’d try to take one of those “closeup” pictures.  I’m not sure the focus is right.


My first attempt at a flower closeup

After a couple of tries in the front I went around back to get the garden.  I even got the gardener as a bonus!

Gardener and Her Garden

Linda tends her garden

Since this picture was taken, the cages have gone around the tomato plants to keep them from falling over.  It’s looking pretty good!

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Jun 12

Last weekend while Kieran and I were camping with the Boy Scouts (more on that later), Linda finished getting the garden beds loaded with dirt and planted.  Things are slowly starting to take root.  I’m not certain that all of the plants are going to survive the transplanting.  I think some of them may have gotten too big in the house.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Over the last week we’ve experimented with how to layout the soaker hose for maximum water coverage.  I’m still not sure we have it right, but we keep working on it.

You know what the best part of the garden is?  Hearing Linda squee when she sees a new plant emerging from the dirt or a blossom appearing.  That makes the whole project worth it.

Both Beds Done - Getting Watered

The plants and seeds are in and the soaker hose is working

Rectangular Bed Done

Squash, Cucumber, Carrots, Tomatos are taking root in this bed

Deck Bed Done

Raspberries, eggplant, squash, basil, and sunflowers are growing here

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Jun 01

The Memorial Day weekend was full of work on the gardens.  We did take Sunday off for a welcome visit with some family that we haven’t seen in a long time.

Saturday while Linda spent eight hours working at the library, I spent about three or four with my hands covered in mud sealing up the gaps beneath the garden beds.  That’s mostly done.  I had to quit when one of my nails tore rather badly.  I guess they were getting soft after being wet for so long.

Monday was a day full of dirt.  Specifically new dirt.  Kieran and I headed off to Lowes and loaded up a cart with 25 bags of top soil.  That was only part of what we needed, but I didn’t think the cart would hold any more.  When we got it to the van I decided I should probably check the vehicle’s maximum hauling capacity.  Turns out it’s 1200 pounds.  So with 1000 pounds of top soil plus the two of us we were there.  In the end it took five trip to Lowes to get everthing.  Kieran and I moved just over two tons of material back to our place.  We had quite a thunderstorm during the second trip so that delayed us for a while.

While Kieran and I were hauling material home, Linda was putting some of it into the first garden bed.  Unfortunately, it started to rain again in the evening so the bed wasn’t completed.

That first bed was finally completed today.  Linda even transplanted most of what she wanted in that bed into it.  It’s not quite all there yet, but at least there are plants in the garden!

Building Garden Beds - First Plants

Sorry the picture is dark, but I was losing daylight fast.

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May 25

After dinner today I got outside with a strong desire to get the garden bed walls completed.  With Linda’s help I managed to pull it off.  I was running out of daylight fast, but I did take a couple of pictures.

Second Bed Walls Complete

The newly completed second bed

Two Complete Beds - Walls That Is

The two beds in their final locations

Next we have to fill in the post holes and the gaps beneath the walls that resulted from attempting to level them.  Then we’ll put down some garden fabric and fill them with garden soil.  I guess I better get to work figuring out where to buy the soil.

May 23

There has been progress on the garden beds.  One day was spent leveling the first rectangular bed.  There wasn’t much to show for that effort so no picture.

Yesterday some real progress was made on the second bed.  Unfortunately, the weather interrupted the work.

Building Garden Beds Day 3

The front portion and the long side wall is built on the second bed

Then today I got to put some more time in.  I worked right up until Kieran and I had to leave for Boy Scouts.

Building Garden Beds Day 4

The back long wall and the little wall against the house are in place and connected to the long wall

That front corner where you see a gap is giving me fits.  I’m going to have to play with it to get all the angles to line up so the two walls join properly.  Oh well.  Linda and I both had some very muddy shoes after working out there today.

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May 18

So you remember those garden beds?  Yeah, they’re not done yet.  However, when she realized she was actually going to have a garden this year Linda placed an order from the Burpee catalog her Mom gave her.  She ordered eggplant, squash, a couple varieties of tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and sunflowers.

She also got this nifty seed starter thingy.  It came with soil tablets.  Put one in each of the little compartments, add water, and like magic it expands to fill the compartment.  Actually, that’s a little weird.  Anyway, Declan and Owen were eager to help get the seeds into the wonder soil.

Since these pictures were taken, the plants have been growing like crazy.  In fact, if the weather and my schedule don’t let me get those garden beds finished soon, the plants may just take over the house.  Yikes.

Starting Garden Plants 1

Starting Garden Plants 2

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May 16

At our old house Linda had a garden.  It was a pretty good sized one too.  At least by suburban lot standards.  Since we moved to the new place at the end of 2002 she’s been gardenless.  That’s about to change.

We have clay for soil around here.  It’s no good at all for growing plants.  So we decided that a raised garden would be the way to go.  After some thought we decided that two raised garden beds in the back yard next to the deck would be best.  One will wrap around one side of the deck and the other will be a larger rectangular bed next to the first.  There will be room to walk between them on the grass.  The plan is that nobody will ever need to get into one of the beds because they aren’t wide enough to require it.

The construction project began today with a trip to Fingerle Lumber in Ann Arbor.  I compared prices between lumber companies and the big name warehouse stores.  Fingerle had the best prices.  It was also incredibly easy doing business with them.  One of the Boy Scout moms has a truck and she offered to transport the lumber for me.  (Thanks Kathy!)  So we drove to Fingerle and got everything done in well under an hour.  We drove right to where the wood was stacked in the lot and they helped us load it up.  Much easier than loading a cart, wheeling it through the store, and loading it in the parking lot!

The first thing Linda and I did was start digging.  The yard slopes away from the house pretty significantly.  That’s a good thing.  However, the garden boxes need to be fairly level.  We started piling clay up in the general area that we thought the boxes were going to sit.  After we’d had enough of the shovels, we headed over to the driveway and the power tools.  Sounds like fun to me!

We built the rectangular box in the driveway and carried it around the house to it’s intended location.  You can see it in these pictures.  The box is made from cedar 2×6 boards and 4×4 posts.  There are two boards stacked on each side for a total side height of 11 inches.  The box measures 5×14 feet.

First Garden Bed In Its Place

This is the rectangular bed. It's upside down in this picture. We need to flip it and fill in the gaps beneath it.

Closer View of Rectangular Bed

Here's a little closer view of the rectangular bed

You can see where the other box is going to go in the following photos.

Space For the Other Garden Box

The lines of clay near the deck show where the second garden bed will go.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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