Sunday, September 18, 2011

Big Changes - Before and After x 3

Last post I made some comments about changes coming to the garden. I was needing a day off work to, you know, work.

The last two days have been glorious weather  - cool and breezy which is perfect for some hard labor.

I gave myself some forced deadlines. For example I called the mulch yard and asked for 3 cubic yards of garden mix - (50% soil - 40% mushroom compost - 10% sand) to be delivered to as early as possible Friday morning and dumped at the end of the drive. Knowing the Student would be home by 6:00, pushed me to get this done. Halfway up the drive, you can see some of the material I had already removed from the bed.

The plan was to remove two perennial beds and prep them for conversion to boxed raised beds. I want to preserve as much as possible in terms of plant materials by repurposing them in the front yard, which, as a friend told me " pretty sad for someone who thinks they are a gardener."

Ouch, but the truth hurts. 

I've always enjoyed the aspect that the garden is in the back and not visible from the street, my very own "Bijou Caché." It is a surprise to pull up to the very unassuming house, walk down the driveway, and turn to see a vigorous garden. But, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. If I was going to save those plants they'd have to move. And I might as well tart up the front of the house a bit.

I spent the morning ripping out the East bed, here is the before and after.

Then I moved the soil out of the driveway. It may not look like much, but three cubic yards takes some time.  I did in fact finish before she came home from work. I'll show you what we came up with at the end of the post. I was exhausted by the end of the day - 12 hours of removing plants and shoveling soil will do that to you. I'm afraid I wasn't good company at the German restaurant for Oktoberfest. Oh, the beer and Jager Schnitzel were delicious, but by the time I was finished I was almost falling asleep. A few aspirin before bed and hopefully I would not be too sore the next day to continue.

Surprisingly I felt pretty good! Up at 6:00, took dear daughter #2 for some driving practice, a stop at the local greenhouse (their perennials were all on sale for only $2 each!) and I finally could procrastinate no longer. While clearing out the west bed, I did feel bad as there were some plants I couldn't save. Oh well, if you want to make an omelet.. you gotta break some eggs.

All I need now is to build the boxes and fill them, shred all the material I pulled out of the garden. Won't happen today as it is raining a lovely soft gentle rain, perfect for the new plants in front.

This still needs mulch, and is a little tatty but will be better after wintering over, I'd say it is big improvement. Whew! I need a nap.

Until next time, Keep Digging & Eat Well!

The Gastronomic Gardener
Garden blog
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Twitter - @gastrogardener
email: thegastronomicgardener at gmail dot com


  1. I have a front yard that's just screaming for help...come on over!

    Yes, my front yard needs help, and it's like a different world when one walks to the back yard. I'm having a grandson come to help today, but we're going to be removing barberry bushes from the front (I hate those stickers!), so there will be even more bare spaces for winter. Maybe I can get something planted next spring.

  2. wow you sure got a lot of work done!. it looks great!

  3. Wow, your front yard looks great now. It really did need those plants.

  4. Busy busy! But, it's going to be worth it for the extra growing space.

  5. Gosh, you made progress! I hope your back doesn't ache too much tomorrow! It will be fun to see how it transforms now from season to season. Cheers!

  6. Granny, I'd be there in a flash but for the commute!

    Mrs. Pickles - not sure it looks like that
    much work but it was, I assure you!

    Becky, It's not there yet but it is an improvement.

    Sue, the extra veggie bed space is what I'm looking for!

    Plantpostings, I'm pretty pleased, and very happy I took Friday off as it rained all day yesterday so I was still able to get 2 full days in.

  7. I really enjoy your blog. We've had a small sq foot garden in our city backyard for a few years, now we bought some rural property and while we are currently working on the house but soon, I'm going to be building the square foot gardens out there. I hope it looks as nice as yours!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks 1st Man, I just expanded the beds by more than double this past weekend! I'm glad you are here and enjoyed the postings!


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