It seems like I’ve built, grown, and tended a million gardens all across the northern tier. And then I move someplace new, and it’s start-over time. I might be getting a little old for this, but once I dig in (yeah, pun totally intended), it’s exciting work–creation, restoration, breathing life into the soil and landscape.
I built three 4×8′ raised beds today–the start of a kind of kitchen/salad garden that will be close to the back door. I don’t have them in their final pleasing configuration yet–I mapped it out in my farm journal and then realized once they were built that the initial layout is all wrong.
They’re going to form a little “nook” in the center, and the opening of that nook should point in the direction of the back door, so I can walk out the door and “into” the garden and have the bounty surrounding me. If there’s enough space, I might make a little seating area and/or put some potted herbs there.
I’m going to have to remove the sod under them and probably under the whole space of the nook and maybe lay down some sand with some stepping stones on top. The outside edges of the garden need to be dug out a few inches from the side of the beds and have a barrier of some sort. I’m not a neatnik, but a clean edge sure makes mowing easier.
I’m not putting plastic or landscape fabric underneath because I’ve frankly had it with those synthetic materials. If a weed pops up I can dig it out or douse it with boiling water.
Speaking of having “had it” with synthetic underlays:
First of all, I get kind of miffed by landscape rock. This is a perfectly good garden space that could grow lovely flowers for bee forage, color and scent, herbs for medicine or seasoning, or vegetable plants of many kinds. But it has all this obnoxious rock in the way–and under that? You guessed it–plastic.
Now I’ve gone and peeved off people who have landscape rock. Yes, I know–it’s low maintenance. And I do like rocks. I just like them big and chunky. As you can see, I have some of those to play with, too.
Anyhow, if the plastic is not too degraded, it should make it easier to get the bulk of that rock out of there. Maybe I can use it to fill in some muddy areas along the side of my house. I just mopped my kitchen floor this afternoon, and now I have a muddy trail of dog prints (um, OK, and a few me-prints). Such is the life of the gardening household.
And BTW–Stattelman Lumber Company in Clinton totally rocks! Not that everyone around here doesn’t know it, but those guys give some fantastic service–from giving me design advice to having my lumber delivered and neatly stacked in my garage a couple hours–not days–after I made the order. LOVE!