"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Moonscape makeover.

Since I've been slowly accumulating a stash of seeds for our "side garden" and working on adding a new flower bed over there, I thought I'd go back and look at a few of my old pictures from warmer times.  The "side yard" as we call it, is probably the warmest part of our yard.  It faces west and is usually 5 - 10 degrees warmer than rest of our yard.  It's where I go on those spring days that it looks a lot warmer than it actually is.  Those days that you're just sure you don't need a jacket because the sun is out, only to find it's only about 55 degrees.  So, this is where I go to warm up and putter around.
When we moved to our home almost 10 years ago the previous owners told us they grew tomatoes there.  Hard to believe for us though, since it was full of garbage, plastic and old rebar.  As we emptied it out we discovered the ground was very hard clay.  A "moonscape" as my husband put it.  How could we waste the sunniest part of our yard and not plant there?!
I found a picture in a Sunset magazine that was just what I thought would work. 
My husband built 4 raised planters, varying from 3'x3' and one long 12'x3'.
 Every year new soil is added, as well as amending the soil with compost.  Now tomatoes do actually grow there, as well as strawberries, blueberries, a fig tree, many herbs and flowers.  I've also planted clematis to grow along the fence, and am currently digging out a new flower bed.  Last summer a row of Lemon Queen sunflowers grew along the end of the yard in front of the fence.
This is one of my gardeners posing with the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor.
After this picture was taken last summer the whiskey barrel was removed and now I'm working on a new flower bed.  Always making space for some new plants!
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  1. OK, I am now officially jealous that you have a garden bed-building hubby! I need to learn how to do stuff like that, as it is highly unlikely I will ever have any help in that area (sigh). Great that you transformed an underused area into something so beautiful (and bountiful)! I know someone who used to call the hillside above her house "the moon" because it was so arid. She planted wildflowers there and transformed it. Hooray for people like you guys who make loveliness happen where before all was barren!

  2. What a great looking area! You guys did an awesome job with it!

  3. Your sideyard looks great. How nice of your hubby to build you those planters! Great job, as ever!

  4. What a great space and an efficient way to use it. The planter boxes must be a dream to work in. Kudos to the builder. And thank you for sharing. I think this is exactly what we needed today. Your post is the true essence of gardening.

  5. I, too, absolutely love the raised beds and use of space. And how wonderful you put wide caps on the beds giving you some resting places to sit and enjoy the gardens. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  6. I really like the planted beds with the gravel. That was a great solution as looks really attractive!
    Also, It would be easy to work the beds when they are higher. I really like what you did here!

  7. First, yes I'm lucky to be married to someone who is willing to build things for me, very lucky.
    My thought on the wider caps was to make it easier to work in the beds or just sit and hang out.
    Only thing I would do different would be to use crushed gravel rather that pea. It's a little hard to walk on.
    Thanks for the compliments.

  8. Way to use the space! I warm micro climate is a real benefit in the PNW.


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