June 28, 2013

Garden State

I just realized that I forgot to tell you all about my favorite place at the house these days... my garden.  You may remember that last year I busted my little preggo butt to make some raised cedar beds.

It was a lot of work, time and money, so I took the garden in stages, leaving this side of the space with a little to be desired.

The three smaller square boxes on this side worked well for squash and melons, but I discovered that I actually get some of my best sun over here, so I wasn't making the most of this space.

So when the snow FINALLY melted this year, I decided to take on the second half of this space.  Boden helped.

Babies in hats.  I die.

I started by taking apart the 2' x 2' boxes I made last year, and using those as the ends of 3 new boxes, these ones 2' x 8'.  I followed the same plans as last year, making two 2' x 8' boxes:

And then attaching them together with 18" cedar stakes:

I also had enough wood to make one 4' x 4' box, which I thought would work well for squash.  Once they were all built, I laid them out in the space to get the perfect configuration and spacing.

Once set in the location, I dug holes for my stakes, and made sure they were level.  By this point Bo was sleeping and it was Ryder's turn to help.  DIY is a family afair.

With four spanking new cedar boxes up in the space, I couldn't help but be bummed about how much my pretty cedar wood on last year's 3 boxes had faded and grayed over a season.  I know, I know, it's just a garden, and it shouldn't matter what these boxes look like, but I'm nothing if not obsessive compulsive.  In the end, I couldn't help myself, and I got out the power washer to clean them up.  I love me a good power washer.

The stakes I used last year were already stained a natural cedar color, but after a wash the rest of the wood looked great.

Then, putting way too much work into these guys, I pulled out a gallon of wood toned stain in natural, and brushed on 3 total coats.  On all 7 boxes.  My name is Erin and I'm a compulsive DIYer. 

On last season's boxes I tried to pull the dirt back from the edges a bit to stain the inside edges.

 One down, 6 to go.

Crazy.  But totally worth it.

On the forth day it was time for the hard work, hauling 64 bags of manure, top soil and mulch back from our driveway.  I'm not kidding, I took those bags on my back two at a time, and ran them up the hill, across the backyard and up the steps to the garden platform.  My neighbors think I'm insane. They're not wrong.  I just called it my daily crossfit workout.  But look how awesome it turned out.

 And that was about a month ago, you should see my magic little garden now.  But first, let me take you back, waaaay back, to where this little useless platform started.

And here it is today:

Back from the other side of this bare waste of space:

And today:

Not only does this space look pretty, but it tastes yummy too.  Or at least it will be, once the tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers, sugar snap peas, green beans, carrots, onions, sweet peas, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, raspberries, rhubarb, cucumbers, spinach, romaine lettuce, arugula, basil, cilantro, oregano, rosemary, thyme, mint, lavender and chives are all ready to pick.  

Whew!  Overboard?   Maybe.  But we're going to be eating well this summer and fall.  And in the mean time I can walk up those steps to this sweet little platform, and I'm in my own little special place.  You can find me out there during nap time catching some rays and sipping on a Summer Shandy.  Heaven.


  1. Looks awesome! We'll probably attempt some raised beds next year and I can't wait. You have a ton of stuff planted! Do you have a natural green thumb? I need to do more research to figure out what might be able to live (and thrive) despite my black thumb.

    1. I wouldn't say I'm a natural- no. My Dad is a fantastic gardener and he really guides me through it. I'm still learning, and wish I had a little more time to give it the love it deserves. At this rate I'll be an expert in about 25 years.

  2. This gives me so much inspiration. I want to do this so bad in our backyard. I grew up growing rhubarb and love it so much. Now I can't buy it anywhere so I can't wait to grow some again!

    1. Rhubarb is SO easy to grow! In fact, it can even work well in a planter or bed along side you house, and double as decorative. (Like a hosta.) Delicious too!