Tuesday, March 24, 2009

an affair with a shovel


it wouldn't be fair to talk about my affair with that handsome shovel and then disappear until this semester ends.

i took these before photos when the kids & i arrived at the house last summer. one of the first things that i did was remove all of the hackberry trees and trash trees on the property. that left me with only a pecan tree in the front and two elms. with december's garagesale money, i moved the fence line to the front corner of the house to expand my backyard and then started to map out my potager.

my sideyard had a serious grade issue and i tried to solve the problem with the idea of leveling the property with riverrock. i built the first bed (closer to the street) with halfdepth cinderblocks (which i had never seen before) and the second bed with regulardepth cinderblocks so i could build up the slope with riverrock and level out the two beds.

the yard had existing borders around the house and i built a border around the perimeter of the yard with recycled bricks and found rocks. this fall, i had found an expanding benchtop in the trash and carried it up the hill and placed it on two gardenpots which i had to make a bench for the middle of the potager.


this week over spring break, i hauled ten yards of rose soil, almost twelve yards of riverrock (i have one more to spread to finetune the leveling) and got my plants & seedlings of various tomatoes, bell peppers, thai peppers, jalapenos, cantaloupes, okra, eggplant, arugula, squash, onions, various herbs (and something else that i can't remember) in over the weekend. last night, my friend brought over a brown turkey fig tree which has been espaliered against the side of the house.

this is my first spring in this house and looking through these before photos inspires me to take more photos of the garden to do a comparison from last june. hopefully, i will get a chance to do that in the next day or so.

taking photos really is a great way to record the progress of a project and usually is the push to take you to the next project. the next garagesale money will fund screen doors and the remaining window screens.


nikkipolani said...

Who can resist a great before and after?! You have transformed that space beautifully, Dawn, and bounty is sure to follow.

Kathy said...

You have made phenomenal progress. What a difference! I'm sure that you've got the sore muscles to prove it.
I'm jealous that you've gotten all that stuff in already, too. We can't plant annuals or vegetables until the second week in May.
Will you post a picture of the espaliered fig?
I look forward to updates.

Sis said...

Web high five! You are McGyver-ette and Supergirl rolled into one.

Marilyn said...

I am so impressed! I know that is hard, back-breaking work.

Can't wait to see your garden in full harvest mode!

fiwa said...

Dang. You are my hero. If I ever get a chance to start over with my garden - I'm going the river rock route. It just looks so clean and neat.

You are going to have some rockin' produce this summer.

Anonymous said...


karenleigh said...

You're so good! I am always inspired by you.

Gin said...

Wow, great work. Your artistic side really shows in your yard!! Love it!

hilary said...

did you get rid of the trees yourself?

Cheryl said...

I can't believe how much work you did. I'm more than impressed. I want to be you!

LisaHoffman said...

Having seen your Earth Magic at the Other House, I know that this one will evolve into another gem.
I STILL wish that you lived right over the back fence.

BR said...

WOW! Very nice. You certainly have a knack for inspiring. When spring really arrives, and the snow is finally gone here in NH, I will be out diggin' and planting in my yard. I can't wait!! You are quite amazing and I don't think there is anything you can't do. : )