Thursday, April 7, 2011

Renovating the garden just in time for April snow

During warm weather my chaise lounge in the front yard is my favorite place to be.  I bask in the sunshine like a giant lizard.  I do some of my best thinking there.  Incidentally, I always make sure my chair points away from my decomposing garden boxes so I don’t have to think about how much work it’s going to be to replace them.  I’ll blame it all on the gophers.  Five years ago when I decided to be an amateur gardener they were driving me out of my mind with their incessant Houdini acts on my plants.  There one minute, gone the next.  It’s really disheartening when you’ve nurtured the poor thing from a seed to see it so callously devoured.  I did attempt to thin them out with a BB gun but it was a painstaking process that resulted in success only one time, and it was all rather traumatizing for a vegetarian, but I digress… 
So the first boxes I built were made out of particle board.  Yeah, yeah, some guy at Lowe’s said the same thing, “For garden boxes…?  Those aren’t gonna last…”  Lowes is the birthplace and breeding ground for unsolicited advice from strangers.  “See here pal, I’m just renting this spot for an unknown quantity of time, and therefore a lasting structure isn’t one of my design requirements.”  That’s what I should have said, but I didn’t think of it until now and that was five years ago.  Anyway, it was true but here we are still and now I really need to do something about the decomposing pressboard in my driveway.
My best idea was to do nothing.  After all, I’m in the job market and who knows where we’ll end up and when.  Let me just say that repeated rejection is a great motivator to start the garden.
This time I got some nice 2x10s and avoided all eye contact with strangers.  By the third box I had it figured out pretty well:  Cut the boards, assemble the box, staple the chicken wire to the bottom, and position as necessary.  My wife also came up with the great idea of sifting all the rocks out of the garden soil.  It’s beautiful, really.  My back is permanently crippled, but it’s really nice.  My neighbor’s cat also seems to appreciate it.  Where did I put that BB gun?

That's not my wall by the way.  That's my neighbors wall.  Once we finished the garden boxes the driveway looked so fresh and clean that I couldn't leave the front eaten up by crabgrass and asphalt chunks.  So...back to Lowes.  This time for some mortar.  Happily the stranger who offered me unsolicited advice was an employee and she knew what she was talking about.  I left with three 90lb. bags and after another days gruelling manual labor I became acquainted with even more nerve endings in my back that I never new existed. 

Sure it's a little amateurish, but it's not bad for a first attempt.  And after a week of beautiful weather reaching almost triple digits I'm ready to plant...

Except for the snow that's forecast for tomorrow.


  1. Hi there, I'm Jayna's friend IRL and love that you have started a blog! Best of luck and if you need anything let me know!

  2. Thanks! Help is something I often need.