Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Pretty

New raised bed with retaining wall
We are all just flowers in God’s garden
That is why He spreads the shit around
—David Byrne

This weekend was spent doing what Robert Heinlein called “pick and shovel work to prolong life.” OK. It wasn’t so much to prolong life as to make the yard look better.

Yesterday I built a nice retaining wall and flower bed. It was the first time I had ever built this kind of wall. The hard part is getting the first row of stones level. After that it takes care of itself. It will be nice. We can sit on the wall to weed the bed, and I can reach the center of the bed from all of the edges.

The picture is the finished product, but Suna posted a couple of pictures of the work in progress, if you’re interested. Beccano even helped turn the dirt and mix in the garden soil.

Today, we bought a little more soil and the plants for the bed. I turned in the additional soil. The local soil has very little organic material—something I hope to rectify over the next few years. Then the plants went in.

Catelina Midnight Blue
Beccano’s choice

Suna wanted red petunias to carry forward the red theme. I bought a tomato (Mr. Stripey) and some sweet basil). I planted the petunias a couple of inches in from the center of each top stone. Then I made another row a few inches in from that. I planted 10-15-Y onions in between each onion. (Can you guess which song I couldn’t get out of my head? Right—except these were onions in a petunia patch.) The tomato and the basil (turns out there were two in the same pot) are in the center.

Then I went to work finishing the new gate I started yesterday when Suna and Beccano went to the home store to buy the rest of the rocks I needed to build the retaining wall. It turned out beautifully…except that I laid the skeleton down the wrong direction. So I built the prettiest gate I have ever made up-side-down and backwards. So since I was running out of daylight, I repaired the old dog-chewed gate enough to last the season.

The good news is that I used 5/8” staples. When I picked up the new gate, one of the boards popped off. So I shouldn’t have too much trouble taking it apart and rebuilding it. Sigh. It’s like erasing a whole sock of knitting, but with a lot more physical labor.


Suna said...

It really was a pretty gate. And it is a pretty flower bed. The yard is getting better and better!

Lee said...

Thanks, love. I’m trying. So have told me I’m very trying.

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