March 16, 2012

The Garden Before

It was seventy degrees in Minnesota today, and with an average high of 44 degrees, that's a big reason to celebrate.  In fact, I'm still doing a little fist pump right now.  So in honor of this miracle day, let's take a tour of what will soon be my garden masterpiece.  First, I give you these stunning stairs...

Ah... yeah.  We're going to need a little work here.  But let's move past that to the gorgeous garden area.

Ah... yeah.  Picking up on a theme here?  I'm going to have to ask you to use your imagination on this one.  It may look rough now, but I promise that by mid summer this is going to look like a glorious, peaceful retreat.  Or at least a place capable of growing vegetables.  Let's manage expectations.

See how much room I have up on this platform though?  The garden actually bends around the house, as seen in this photo below, so I'll have to plant carefully to manage the light.  (These pictures were shot at 6:30PM at night, when the space is almost completely shaded.)

Here it is looking back from the other direction.

And here's the row of raspberry bushes my Dad planted for me last Spring.  I all but neglected them last year as we furiously checked over 100 items off The List, but I promise this season to give them the love they deserve.

While some of the garden platform has some fresh black dirt, like this small space where I planted my mini-garden last year:

The rest of the platform is a mess of rock and sand.  Cue the sound- whomp-whaaaa.

Since it would take more manual labor than these guns can handle, I don't think I could ever shovel out all the sand and rock and replace it with black dirt.  That's why we'll be building raised beds, to keep out the weeds and so we only need to fill the beds with fresh black dirt, and I can lay down mulch or gravel in between the beds for walkways.

I've even gotten started on this to scale map of the space.
Click on the image to view larger

Now my total nerd plan for the weekend is to print out a bunch of these and track the sun over the space every couple of hours to get the best idea of the sun exposure on this space.  Seriously, sometimes I say this stuff out loud and I know my 18 year old self is ashamed.  Am I the only one?  Any one else have some big plans for the weekend?  Maybe a trip to the Home Depot... Bed Bath and Beyond... I don't know if there will be time.


  1. Google Sketchup can show you the shadows throughout all day, all year. Pick a date, change the time, etc. Match that to what you see on a few days and you'll know you've drawn the model right...

    1. What an awesome idea! Thank you very much!

  2. Hey! Just stopping by from YHL. Just to save you a little work - most shrubs and perennials will do fine in full sun to part shade. It's really only full shade that you'll need to get specific plants for. :)

  3. I just found your blog today through YHL. I've spent most of the day reading and just saw above that you live in MN! I'm a Minnesotan too. Loving all your DIY projects! And congrats on your newest DIY baby boy!