Jul 23 2008

Small Change to Blog

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I have decided to put all of my blog information about the Garden, our plans for it as well as our rain barrel project and other “Green” projects in a new blog called “Imladris Gardens.” Being a big fan of J. R. R. Tolkein and his Lord of the Rings books (I’ve been a fan long before the movies ever came out and I’ve read his other works as well) I chose to name our garden “Imladris Gardens” as I hope that the garden that we create will be a place of peace and quiet in our neighborhood where people can come, visit and even walk through it and enjoy the beauty and the sounds of the garden. For those who don’t know, Imladris is the Sindarin (i.e. Elvish) name for the Valley of Rivendell where the Last Homely House of Elrond was located…Hobbits welcome 🙂 .

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May 27 2008

The New Garden

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Last year we put a garden in our front yard to grow vegetables. When we were living in Austin, TX. we had about 1000 Sq. Ft. of raised bed organic vegetable garden in the back yard. So, we decided to put one in our house here. Unfortunately the back yard has a large amount of shade in it so we had to do it in the front yard. In doing so we pulled up part of a plant bed that was in the front of the house. No matter. Anyway, this year we decided to expand the garden considerably. First thing to do was to sqaure it off. We decided to make it 17′ x 25′ (approximately 425 Sq. Ft.) with four raised beds in it. I laid out the fence (using the fencing we had from last year) and started removing sod from the areas we wanted to enclose. That was an immense amount of work. We also ordered 7 cubic yards of top soil from a nearby landscaping company called Rels on Layhill Rd. They delivered the topsoil as promised and dumped it where I asked them to — unfortunately, now that I think about it I should have had them dump it directly in the garden if they could have. No matter…a little shoveling later and I had it in the garden. Anyway, I finished the first raised bed (with a lot of help from my friend Alex) last Friday afternoon (took the afternoon off from work). You can see it in the picture below.
Garden with Top Soil from Rels

Another picture showing a closer shot of the first bed is below. The beginning of the second bed is shown in the foreground.

First Bed with Second Bed in Progress

Yesterday, I finished the second bed and started digging the third bed. You can see that in the following picture.

Close up shot of the second bed with third bed

Finally, Diana started planting the vegetable plants on Sunday. Now we have two beds done and the third bed is about half-way through the digging process (I use a technique called double-digging which is described in more detail here. It’s an enormous amount of work (about one spade-length down the soil around here is very compressed clay) and I’ve managed to dig up so many rocks (and bricks and other “things”) that I’m going to use those to create a “rock garden” later. Our first bed now looks like the picture below.

Tomato Plants in the First Bed

I have big plans for the garden. I intend to expand it further next year as well as build a retaining wall and a more permanent fence. It’s been very cathartic to expend my energy digging in the garden lately…especially as it seems that the world around is spinning more and more out of control. But that’s another post.

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