Sunday, May 1, 2011

Man Hands.

I have been busting my buns these last few days.

Rain, sleet, sun, wind. . . whatevs.

Do you remember my fantabulous steal of an idea from This Old House?

The garden? Le jardin?

I've been determined to make it happen. Despite that I know nothing about planting.

I think it's safe to say I haven't done this much manual labor, like, ever. I josh not. It's been hard. It's also been awesome. My back hurts. My arms hurt.

My palms are covered in calluses, despite the use of gloves. Oh, and roto-tilling? I felt like I was holding back a charging bull.

So, do you wanna take a little look-see? Do ya? DO YA?

I surrounded my little garden with cedar boards, and to keep them right where I want them, I drove these ginormous, 6 inch galvanized nails down into the ground.

Chose myself some choice fencing:

and 16 pieces of cedar later for my raised beds:

I have something to say about cedar, baby. I am in love with the smell of cedar. Edward Cullen's breath would smell like cedar. But that's just me.

Tilled in some top soil and manure ("Manure! I hate manure!" name that movie!) in there. Just let the kids stir the poo.

And opted for bark in my pathways to save a little moolah. This was not a cheap project. And I don't want to talk about it! (voice raises in pitch, runs off, slams door).

Oh ma gosh-- take a look at my bench. I had plans to make a cedar bench,

(seriously, I really had the plans to make a cedar bench)


but when I saw this little stone one, and he could be mine for less than the cost of cedar, with no work on my part:

Bench, olive juice.

Oh.Ma.Gosh-- and take a look at my cute little solar lights. Seriously? Seriously?

I was kinda shocked when I found out they interchange from red to blue to green light at night, though. Not sure what I think of that. Or as the hub said:

"What the?? It's like Christmas out there!"

A word for the math geeks in the world: the Daddy-o suggested making all the beds in such a way that there was no waste. So what you see here is 2 by 6's, 3 x 4's, and 4 by 4's. Ingenious, that Daddy-o.

Everything is absolutely, perfectly straight in that garden. No, really. It's not my garden, it's you.

So, finally, like the deathstar, my garden is fully operational.

And if you've got planting advice, including something beautiful and flowing that can be planted in that urn, I am all ears. Lay it on me, people. Dangers of freezing will be over soon, and I'm about to soil my plants.

Linked to Ze Shabby Nest.

32 comments:

What's next said...

I am so jealous! It is beautiful!!!
Check Pioneer woman's site, she has done a couple of posts about planting in raised beds...
wish I was your neighbor to steal your tomatoes...

gina3 said...

Wow, that's amazing. Great choice of fencing and the bench is awesome. Try planting ornamental sweet potato vine. It grows fast, bright green leaves, very full and thrives with sun and little water so it's maintenance free. It doesn't produce potatoes though. It will billow out of that urn in days.

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures/Treasured Moments said...

Yep on the sweet potatoe vine. There is a pretty green and a purple. DId you use gates all the way around the garden? It all turned out so great. Did you notice you have sun flare in a pic of the garden so that means you have to link up to the party coming up.

Emily said...

That is amazing! I love it. I need a new fence around mine, so my girls and my dog won't get in. I love yours, mind if I copy?

Janelle said...

I love it! I kept driving by your house to see your progress. It looks beautiful!

Layne Bushell said...

Just plant what your family likes to eat. We love tomatoes, carrots, beans (blue lake), sugar snap peas are my personal favorite! Of course 1 zuchini plant will feed 10,000 all summer, provided you don't get infested with the stupid squash bug that has invaded us the last 2 years :(. Corn is harder...requires lots of space and a LOT of water. You can also do real potatoes. I've never seen the above mentioned potatoe vine, but it sounds lovely!

Amanda said...

Oh it's beautiful! I was beginning to think I was getting a little addicted to your blog and this totally sealed the deal! I'm in love :) Where did you get the fencing? I need a pretty way to keep the puppies out of the plants - last time they destroyed everything precisely 22 minutes after being let outside. Boo.

Lisa said...

That is some serious kind of awesomeness!!
All I know about gardens is that kids eat things that they grow and "harvest" so get your kids to do the planting with you!
Now I think it's time for you to have a spa day!!

Spencer & Lorilyn Crum said...

Mandi! Are you kidding me!?!??!! You are like the fastest worker alive! I've had plans for a garden since last summer, you know what I've done on it, nothing! (I blame my short attention span and lack of attention to detail).

This looks absolutely fabulous. I think you should plant some herbs, just because they are so stinkin expensive at the store. I mean, $1.50 for basil? What is this, Richie Rich land???

And I totally agree with you about the smell of cedar, it is wonderful and makes me feel all outdoorsy and lumbjackish without actually having to be either of those things.

Teri said...

Holy smokes, woman, you don't fool around! It seems like just yesterday you were ogling that pic, and now you are done? I'm not worthy! I just adore it - what a gorgeous enclosure! And the raised beds with the cedar? That's my kind of gardening! My mom was always a big gardener, but hers was one big dirt bed with rows...but to be honest, until they had vegetables? I couldn't tell the plants from the weeds. I think yours is more my style! LOVE it! :)

That One Girl said...

Ahhh.... we've been doing that this weekend as well!! We're only going to get in 2 this week, and then in 2 weeks we're going to rent a tiller and do 4 (or so) more!! MAN!! This is some serious stuff!! LOL

calikas said...

It looks so so good!!
Are you planning on doing just flowers? or maybe a veggie or two as well?

Shirley said...

Gotta say wave petunia's in the urn. They spill over, and provide a pretty pop of color. Giggling over the fact that the lovely garden is in the front yard! And the fencing reminds me of the Bedknobs and Broomsticks bedframe! Really, seriously jealous of this beauty. I'll be even worse when you post pics of your gorgeous bounty from it.

Danyelle said...

I love it! I've had that picture from this old house saved and in my someday file for a while. What you have there is a project we might be able to do sooner. I love your lights too.

Pressed Petals said...

Man you blow me away with every project. I like what the people have suggested to plant. Plant what you eat. Have fun!

Leslie@leserleeslovesandhobbies said...

I think sweet potato vine might be invasive (take over your garden in no time) around these parts. I would suggest calling your local university extension office to see what they would recommend. And is the movie "Back to the Future"?

Sarita said...

That looks pretty fantastic! I'm been dreaming of starting a little garden myself. I better get on it if I want to! Yours turned out beautiful! Happy growing :-)

WhettenWild said...

It's "Back to the Future". Ya sent anyone out to stir the poo yet?

Your garden is AWESOME!! Seriously. I love the bench. I still think you need a little fountain though. Ok. That is my lame-o ploy to get ya back down here. Did it work?

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

I know that was a ton of work. Well done! You have a lot of space for plantings. Are you going to have all veggies or do you want to mix in some flowers too? I suggest something tall and spikey in the center of your urn, like a dracena. Then surround it with something colorful like those tiny Petunia looking flowers. I just planted some today and can;t remember the name. I want a little bench!

Aarika said...

I don't know about flowy things to plant in urns, but in my garden I have a big urn that I have planted my herbs in. Basil, chives, dill, parsley, just herbs I use to cook with and they grow up and over the edge and I love the look of it! Beautiful garden you have made! I may just be a big ol' fat copy cat and do one like that for my yard!! :)

Ann Marie | white house, black shutters said...

You told people that I use store-bought manure, when I showed you where my manure comes from?

Looks gorgeous, can't wait to see what you're growing! If you're looking to buy seeds, we bought from rareseeds.com, the company was great, selection was fantastic, it was cheaper than going to HD, and the seeds came quickly. And they're all heirlooms, not genetically-modified, woo hoo! So you get the big ole varieties and can collect seeds for next year like the olden days. :)

Dara said...

Yeah sure it is pretty during the day, and looks like a LOT of work went into it and will take even more to upkeep it....but really, I must say, driving by at night and seeing the different color lights (globe thingies) are awesome and I need to know where to get me some of those please!
Anyway, great work, looks awesome!

Bludart said...

Lovely! Just got our final garden bed put in last weekend. The smell of freshly cut cedar is indeed wonderful (and, a natural bug repellent dontcha know).

Plant what you would eat, & enjoy looking at. That's pretty much the best advice I ever cae across.I.e. Tomatoes surrounded by basil, chives, garlic, and marigolds. Marigolds are host plants to hover flies, which eat aphids. Makes your job easier. The wonderful thing about garden beds is companion planting-pack those suckers in there properly and you won't have to weed. Plant properly, and you'll have very few pests, too.

There are lots of gorgeous herbs that "flow" (check out thyme & oregano varieties that creep instead of grow up/bush out). There are also several types of rosemary that grow low to the ground and look marvelous growing over/down garden beds.

Finally, something I know more than two-cents about ;)

Mrs BC said...

Plant what you love to eat, & don't be afraid to try something new, you might end up liking it. Plant what is expensive to buy. That urn is begging for a strawberry plant, which will thrive in that postion & trail beautifully.
Enjoy your beautiful garden!
x

chris w said...

Wow. W.O.W! That looks SO good! I'm continually amazed at you.

Michelle@Somedaycrafts said...

What a lovely garden! I want mine to look like that. I am featuring this tonight at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com.

Kirsten @ Mushki Loves said...

Oh! I love the fence too! Where did you get it?

Renee said...

That is awesome Mandi! I love it! I love the decor at the top of the fence. I need to put a fence around mine!

What do you plan to grow?

Donna said...

absolutely awesome!!! I love everything about it!!!! yes, even the lights :)

the cape on the corner said...

that's great-i want to make a veggie garden, but wasn't sure what to do about a gate. my question is squirrels...won't pesky squirrels be able to get in there, still? that's what i need to keep out of my garden. they steal my strawberries..and my poor tulips, too.

dena4kids said...

You have really got to stop. I am just in love with all of these projects! I am sad I didn't get to see it in person. Next time I will come with Nathan! Now that would be fun!=)

Love the garden!!!(and the death star ref. heehee.=)

Kira =] said...

Adorable!! Yes, i know that fencing and what it costs. But it is in your front yard so it needs to look awesome, right? Love the cedar boards.