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New Garden Space

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Project by justjoel posted 09-06-2012 01:59 AM 1705 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When we first moved to this house this area, like the rest of the yard, had been neglected. Because I needed to put in a vegetable garden and rehab the areas where things weren’t growing, I did little more than trim back the salt cedar (tamarisk). Each year I’ve cut this sucker back more, and then one year after I accidentally “compromised” the irrigation to this corner, the grass started dying in spots. Last year the idea came to me to use this area to make the garden larger as I could here without really sacrificing too much lawn or play space for the kids (though this did cut down on part of the dog’s “first you chase me” path that they took each time they are released from their day-time area).

I had to start by killing what grass was left, trimming the beast back, and digging out some edging and a bunch of half buried, white, quartzite rocks. Then I heavily amended the soil and installed the brick mowing strip, defining the new space.

I moved the compost barrel over to this side to allow for more room for a new shelf on the other side, and to provide longer sun exposure for the barrel.

I also widened the path back to the kid’s fort that hides in the corner behind the salt cedar mess, and put up some boards to try to keep the kids & dogs out and the pumpkin vines in. Nature, in both cases, is not so easily controlled.

I also had to install a new sprinkler line for this area as the original got capped off after I punctured it whilst erecting the fort – luckily it was the end of this zone.

Even after I planted the pumpkin seeds and they more than sprouted, it stayed this way for a while.

The garden fences are mainly there to keep the dogs and soccer balls out, otherwise I’d not have them. This new one only cost about $25 in “new” materials. The Fence boards I got from my neighbor to the north who was replacing a couple sections (he also just built a 10×10 greenhouse that I’ll not express the depth of my jealousy over, here). The gate is just one of those heavy-duty, aluminum screen door guards, more fence boards, and some spray paint.

I reused the old garden/lawn, black plastic border thingy in two ways. I cut the top tube part off, cut a slit in it, and then slid it over the top of the wire fence. The bottom part, what was once underground, is secured to the bottom and back of the fence boards, partially to hold them in place, but also to keep the dirt from spilling through to the brick mowing strip and lawn.

I wanted to call it the “Pumpkin Patch,” but I’ll likely rotate at least the tomatoes here next year, and I did plant a few annuals and perennials in the area as well.
I had always viewed this area as an eyesore, but now it is one of the prettier spots in the backyard, but that’s often true of new installations.

I went through several ideas in my head and on paper, including just making it out of the wire fence, but knew I wanted to contain the pumpkin vines as best as I could, and make it look better than just a simple fence, but knew I couldn’t spend any real money on the project, so this is what I came up with. Tried to make it look like four, long planter boxes; sorta works for me (more flowers, planted earlier next time will help).

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell



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justjoel

1063 posts in 2040 days
hardiness zone 7a

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7 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2660 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 09-06-2012 02:16 AM

I love it!

brilliant re: the edging re-usage! Sweet.

Overall look – fantastic!!
Do we have close-ups of the fort area?

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View BlueGum's profile

BlueGum

1 post in 778 days

posted 09-06-2012 06:18 AM

Really good site very informative. If I had a garden like this I would be very proud.

View Braz de Souza Junior's profile

Braz de Souza Junior

25 posts in 1251 days

posted 09-06-2012 11:55 AM

wonderful, spectacular, really beautiful, congratulations.

-- brazjuca Guarapari BRASIL

View justjoel's profile

justjoel

1063 posts in 2040 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 09-06-2012 03:31 PM

Thanks!

Deb, Fort Lyndigo (a blend of both kids’ middle names) is rather small, just enclosing the corner cement pad behind the beast – just room for a very small table and kid-sized chairs. I used fence boards to help it blend in, and added a little hinged window. As these things go, the kids don’t use it as often as I had hoped – the dogs almost used it more (before I fenced it off) as Sammy would try to loose Delilah through there when she chased him (thus the fence).

This is a view from “inside” before that front wall went up.

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2660 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 09-06-2012 05:15 PM

oooooh a secret hiding place
You should start putting little surprises in there once in a while. They’d think the garden Fairies had visited

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View jroot's profile

jroot

5067 posts in 2290 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 09-06-2012 08:45 PM

Cool use of space. I like it. Ever diminishing lawn cutting LOL

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4305 posts in 1923 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 09-07-2012 12:52 AM

Joel, you have created such a wonderful place for your family. I enjoy the beauty and creativity you bring to your gardens. I like Debbie’s idea to leave simple surprises in the secret fort and see what transpires….

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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