Monday, May 25, 2009

This weekend's project

It doesn't look like much, but it took a long, long time and isn't finished yet! It's going to be my small vegetable garden--more likely, small salad garden, and it's a sort-of raised bed in the already-raised back yard. First I had to dig out what was already there, and replant the daylilies elsewhere. Then I had to throw out the lavender bushes, after spending ages trimming them down to the only twigs that were still green... and realising that there was no way they were going to recover, lavender being lavender. (So far they have only been "thrown" under a tree, and will probably end up being replanted somewhere where they can recover, or not, as they choose.)

Then I had to dig out as much of the weed root system as possible. Mostly grass, but some suckering almost-tree-almost-vine stuff (don't know what it is) which has orangish roots that go deep into the sandy earth. Sandy soil is so much easier to weed than clay!

After that, building the framework. More of the old deck going to good use--even the bits of decking that I was annoyed had been cut too small to do anything with. Stood upright, they are just right for edging the bed!

And the sun was shining and it did feel really, really hot, but that was probably the spade work.

Then to fill the raised bed.

The pile of topsoil is in the driveway. The new raised bed is behind the house, up the stairs, and across to the back of the raised lawn. No way to get a wheelbarrow up there.

Tried putting some of the topsoil into a wheelie bin and dragging it up the steps. Nearly had a heart attack and/or fatal fall down steps head-first into wheelie bin part filled with soil. Managed to do this once and once only. After that it was two buckets full of soil at a time... and only enough energy to fill the far right of the bed. But enough to put in a row of radish seeds and a row of mixed lettuce!

So the plan is to bring up soil by the bucketful before adding a new row of seeds. Might take a few days but should get there... eventually!

Behind the new raised bed, next to the happily-flowering chives, I dug out the canna lilies that I forgot to "lift" in autumn. They were now blackened shadows, crispy bags of emptiness, no flowers hiding inside. My bad... but I really don't have time for plants that required so much bother. There are plenty other plants that will survive the winter!

Planted green peas, mange-toutes (sugar peas), and sunflowers (Vanilla Ice, Sunshine, and Mammoth) and hollyhocks.

The tomatoes are in pots on the little deck, including two of the "heritage" tiny yellow plum tomatoes, together with red pepper, green pepper (aren't they the same just different degrees of ripeness?) and a jalapeno pepper plant. And they are all watered and now I need a nap.

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