We haven’t posted about our garden in a while. Well not too much personal stuff in general, but particularly not about our favorite spot at home, the front garden. Every morning we make our espresso and come out here to soak up the green vistas and bird songs before we start work on the computer for most of the day. We’re still renting and although our landlord has given us considerable freedoms to modify things around the house, we’ve always been at odds when it comes to the front patch of grass. But every summer it dies and every winter it barely comes back to life, and one thing is constant though, its not a great use of our space. Especially in a water shortage.
I shared a photo a few days ago when we dismantled part of a barn to harvest some wooden planks for the raised beds we’ve always wanted to build. The free section of craigslist is a great source for firewood and hot-tubs, but I rarely find anyone giving away construction quality wood … so when leanne found a ranch in silverado canyon that needed to demo a barn and was giving away wood to anyone who arrived with muscle and a hammer … we jumped at it.
4 hours and many close spider encounters later we had all the wood we needed for two small raised beds for the new veggie patch.
Day 1. the boxes are reclaimed window frames from the barn. since they were pretty much the size we were going for, we just built them up with extra planks.
supplies needed were wooden planks (size depending on your bed and available space), jig saw, measuring tape, hammer, nails, wood screws, drill, staple gun, weed cloth and fresh garden soil / compost (no fill dirt from the construction lot across the street ; ).
leanne found this box on her walk back from her car. great container for keeping mint in line!
support posts nailed in place.
it was hot out there gimme a break (!)
thank you to kim, cristina, and josh for your help
kim and leanne painted the box for a personal touch before planting.
snack break. dont work too hard kids.
Day 2. with the beds in place and the weed cloth stapled down (very important step, save yourself lots of time battling weeds that will inevitably come up from below) it was time to add the compost. one years of kitchen scraps ready to be returned to their rightful place. We just finished the worm bin so we’ll compost our scraps with the worms instead of the container now. FYI this project can most likely be done in one day but between buying too little soil and constantly running in the house to change the record, we did it in two.
after the compost comes a combination of cheap fill garden soil along with nutrient rich compost.
after the mint and sage are planted. mojitos and sage butternut squash raviolis anyone?
make sure the soil is well aerated and loose, but firmly spread throughout the bed.
the small frame is the next project. hops tower. I plan on running three cords up to the lamp on the side of the house and growing three different variety of hops. I need to do more research however to find out which ones will grow in warm so cal climate. I know patience is a virtue but I really cannot wait to get this growing (!).
love the blue-green hue that is reminiscent of its past life as a barn wall.
small sample of what is going into the bed once the seedlings arrive. I am a little late in the season here for seedlings so if you are getting around to planting beds of your own ask a friend for extra seedlings or go to lowes or armstrong or a good nursery for some starters.
all finished with the mint and sage in place.
Day two done. I will update again when I work on the next two projects (the hops tower and cucumber trellis) and also when the seedlings are ready for transplanting.
this is my garden project from last year. lettuces and salads grow really well here, but nothing that needs a lot of space or root depth. its an old drawer that I found in the alley and put on stilts (before I thought to buy weed cloth) and drilled drainage holes in the bottom. You dont have to have a lot of space or money even to start growing!
Mystery squash that came up on its own after the first february rains …. I think its tatuma though it could be easily confused for a deformed zucchini. we’ll see what it really is once it comes into full fruit this summer.
cherry tomatos from seed !! best 1.79 you’ll ever spend. seriously.
the herb garden. from left to right … sage, sweet basil, thyme, baby lavender (new), sweet peas, oregano, lavender (two years old), and rosemary. way too cramped in their but they seem to like it.