Here in the Pacific Northwet (not a typo) it is cause for jubilant celebration when the daytime temperatures reach the 50s, especially when there is a lull from the rain for a day! This is when all in the Shire turn their attention to winter clean-up and garden prep. I am so excited to be getting my herb garden back!!! Taking a trip to the market and paying premium prices for the seasonings I am so used to merely stepping out the door to procure just chaps my hide. An executive decision had to be made! The beds that had been removed in order to redo the porch into a cement patio have got to make a comeback…and quick! PLUS…why stop with just bringing back the herb beds in front of the porch when having some premium vegetable space is so alluring as well! So we started with getting the beds made to fit the space available.
My first executive decision was to call our nephew who is a contractor and an artist. Was he interested in taking on the small task of building raised beds in between his house building/remodeling/etc. projects? He was more than happy to help us out! He set to work and they arrived a couple of days ago!
Here’s a view of the basic set up plan. Right now the boxes have only been loosely placed in their respective locations, and will need a lot more work to get them leveled, seated, and ready for the soil. The ones directly in front of the porch will be for herbs and the three to the left (south) will be for veggies.
Here is a closer view of the boxes. They are made from galvanized roofing material, designed with cedar on top (at knee height) for ease of sitting on while planting and maintaining the beds. The bottom outside frame is weather resistant lumber to withstand the wet ground so prevalent here in the Northwest. The wavy corrugation of the metal is for added strength. Josh does beautiful work in every project he takes on, and I had no doubt the finished product would be exactly as I envisioned in my mind. I’m still not disappointed! Ever!
A couple of years back, when we had Josh design and help us install our cement porch, I had asked him to put a 45 degree angle on the north end of it to make it easier for the hay delivery traffic to negotiate the path between the house and the barn. When making the bed to go in front of that section, I asked him to continue the theme:
Yes, that is green moss/mildew/algae/goo that has set up shop on the stairs. Here in the land of rain, that’s how we can tell the north side of everything! We have had a very wet (even wetter than usual for the PNW) and cold winter this year in the Shire, and are only now recovering from 10 inches of snow, followed by torrential downpour and windstorm that took out the power for many days for this area. Spring cleaning is soon coming, but will wait until the dirt moving and bed prep is complete before we “make pretty”.
Here’s the inside of the bed. The corrugated metal is vertical, rather than horizontal, for added strength and support for the outward pressure of the soil when we add it. The herb beds are just over 2 ft. wide (inside dimension) and a total of over 24 ft. in length. All of them are 18 inches high.
The three vegetable beds are on the south side of the house with the greatest sun exposure. Each one is just under 3.5 ft. wide by 8 ft. long.
The sheep and alpacas were very interested in what we were up to on our side of the fence, especially this afternoon when this arrived:
I was so excited to have the organic garden soil arrive that I completely forgot to take pictures of the very large dump truck that hauled it in from Vern’s Organic Topsoil (http://vernsorganictopsoil.com/) in the north end of the Shire. Nor did I remember to snap some shots of Erik, the driver, who was such a delight to visit with during the delivery.
Ahhhh…the smell of rich garden soil is an olfactory marvel and thrill!
The dogs were rather bewildered though, seeing a fabulous mountain of (untouchable) soil in their front yard. What?! What do you mean we can’t have a party in it?! But it looks so enticing!
Peppercorn the alpaca gave her approval for our gardening plan, knowing she will be a recipient of some of its bounty. Ginger, her sister, was busy elsewhere stuffing her face in gleeful anticipation of the future feast.
And the wooly bullies decided it might not be a bad idea in the long run…they will just have to wait and see.
All is good in the Shire. Spring is just around the corner! The plan has been set in motion, and we await its completion! Now…on to the seed catalogs!
Deuteronomy 11:13: And it shall be, if listening you will listen to My commands which I command you today, to love YAHWEH your Elohim, and to serve Him with all your heart, and with all your soul, 14 that I will give the rain of your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, and your new wine, and your oil. 15 And I will give grass in your fields for your livestock; and you shall eat and be satisfied.