|Project by justjoel||posted 09-05-2012 06:59 PM||1755 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
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