Our 2021 garden: old kitchen garden, part two

Part One here.

After the girls finished planting the Strawberry Spinach, they went ahead and spaced out the concrete blocks to they would run from end to end across the garden. The gaps in between were fairly large, so they had the idea of filling them with bricks and brought a bunch over.

I liked the idea, so I ran with it. With a bit of adjustment on some blocks, I could fit three bricks in between each block. Then, because we have them, I used only red and white bricks, alternating with 2 red and 1 white, them 1 red and 2 white. Soil needed to be added under them, so they would be the same height (more or less) as the blocks.

That done, I finished filling the space against the wall with larger rocks. I ran out, so I took the wagon to various spots around the old garden, where rocks had been pulled out and left against trees or posts, etc. Once those were in, small rocks were added. When I ran out of those, I just walked around the garden with the wagon, picking them as I went along, and had more than I needed in no time at all. The hard part was not picking too many bigger rocks, because I had nowhere to put them.

Once that was done, I filled gaps between the bricks with soil, and pushed more soil up against the blocks and bricks, then used a hose to clean them off. This is how it looked when it was done.

The path is uneven and lumpy, but it serves its purpose!

Of course, the cats were already using the dirt as litter. *sigh*

We haven’t even finished clearing that soil of roots, and it’s sitting on soil that wasn’t loosened. The next step will be to spread the piles of soil out, taking out as many roots as we can. At least we got what I think are the last of the big roots out. They were all under where the blocks and rocks are, and spreading away from the house, so they were getting smaller as they got further out. The ground slopes slightly downward from the house, which is why we added the retaining wall. We’ll be building up more soil at the wall, to level things off a bit, so shifting this soil downwards will just help with that.

This is what we cleared out so far. They will go into the burn barrel, since much of this is from invasive plants. We’re under a fire ban, but burn barrels should still be okay. I’ll have to check, first.

There will be another path running through roughly the center of the garden, towards the retaining wall. We have more of those concrete blocks. There were two stacks, but I found more, half buried under grass and weeds. I think we have at least 5 more of them out there. Maybe more. Hard to say what we’ll find once we start moving things!

Then we can start adding new garden soil, and finally start planting in some sections. There are flowers on the north side of the garden that I want to dig up and split, but I’m not sure where I want to put them yet. Then there are those flowers my mother now wants me to keep (I checked before I started laying cardboard down that first summer, and she’d told me there was nothing she wanted to keep. The next summer, she changed her mind!). In the photos, you can easily see them, as they’re the only green in there right now. They are invasive, but pretty, so I want to transplant some into a contained space, then get rid of the rest to free up garden space. Or maybe I’ll find someplace to plant them as a ground cover. We’ll see.

Long term, this will be our kitchen garden, and will have a combination of herbs and quick growing vegetables and greens, nice and handy for quick picking as needed. It will be a challenge, with the two big ornamental apple trees, the double lilac, the honeysuckle, and the roses. There’s a rose that was struggling, but actually bloomed last year, after we pruned the tree above it. It’s a lovely pink rose – and it got broken! I think by a deer. I’d like to transplant it somewhere where it can get full sun. The white roses are lovely, but remarkably invasive. Then there are those vines that keep making their way through the mulch and spreading!

We’ll work it out slowly, over the next few years. For now, the poppies will go in the corner near the new path, and the lettuces will go along the west end, where they will be lightly shaded by the trees for much of the day. We’ll see what else we can fit in, if needed.

For now, I’m really wishing we had a hot tub. Or one of those tubs for old people, with a door and a seat. I could really use a hot soak, but if I try to take a bath, I am not sure I’d be able to get up again without help. Being broken sucks! 😀 I’ll just have to borrow my husband’s bath chair and take a not shower, instead.

Getting a hot tub really would be a good idea. It would be very therapeutic for my husband’s back, too! Not that we have anywhere to put one right now. I’m sure we could figure it out, though!

All in good time. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

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