Remember in our very first blog post I talked about our raised bed project? Well... FINALLY!!!! We are DONE WITH THIS PROJECT! woot woot! Ok, not completely. We still have to plant stuff and care for them for years to come, but the building of the raised beds is completed. We got the plans for these raised beds from Sunset's Western Garden Book. Very practical, easy to assemble, and pretty good lookin'. We added another 6 inches in height to Sunset's original specs so our beds measure 18 inches high ( actually about 16 1/2 inches because 2x4's are never actually 2 inches or 4 inches but who's counting ). We made 4 beds at 4 feet by 8 feet and one monster bed which from henceforth shall be know as " the Beast " at 10 feet by 7 feet. At the very wise suggestion of our building guru and Husband's stepfather Bob, we stabilized the longer sections of boards with two by fours to prevent future warping.
So that's a total of approx. 200 square feet of garden space. Did I mention we have a humongous yard? Another slick feature of the Sunset design is the permanent PVC pipes attached to the insides of the beds. This means we can slip in more PVC pipe to create hoops over the beds which we can cover with plastic for cold frames or bird netting to keep those destructive chickens at bay. At least until we can build a proper fence to keep them out. Yes. That's right. Yet another project.
These are a few before and after shots of our north side yard. The picture on the top is from the day we bought our house almost two years ago. Below is how this same view looks today. The jumble of broken concrete in the foreground is our fire pit and the upside down tub is our future potato patch that husband scored off our neighborhood junk collector for 20 bucks.
The pictures below are more before and after shots. It would take a lot more words than I am prepared to write here to describe the state of the yard when we moved in. It was so crazy. Rutted and piled with trash, we still stick our shovels in the earth and dig up junk. Some of the "highlights" include: aqua sox ( remember those? ), plastic sandals, deflated sports balls, Gatorade bottles, shingles, lots of drywall, doors, and crappy metal signs. We have found a few treasures though like a good sized enameled mixing bowl, old horseshoes, and rusty antiquated tools. We've also taken out a stand of yew trees towards the back to make room for future plans.
In the end we only needed 10 yards of dirt instead of the projected 11 which was a relief to both our wallets and our backs. After all that shoveling however, we needed sustenance! Husband had spent a part of the day overlooking a pot of venison stew he made up a recipe for. Paired with a big ole' hunk of cornbread and the first gin and tonic of the season it was a perfect end to our day. One mission down 5 buh-jillion to go!