Friday, January 7, 2011
The Garden My Husband Built
I often come up with lots of great ideas that create a good deal of work for my husband. Over these 16 years of togetherness, we seem to fall into these roles as a couple. I come up with some crazy plan and he makes it happen.
After a successful summer with a container herb garden on my deck, I thought we definitely needed a garden. The problem was, I am a very inconsistent "maintainer" (is that a word). I tend to have a ton of enthusiasm at the beginning of a project and then fizzle out as I get bored or discouraged. So, if this garden was going to work, it had to be pretty self-sustaining.
After a lot of research (thanks, Internet!) I decided we would need a raised bed garden with a drip irrigation system on a timer. Following much of the advice in Mel Bartholomew's book, Square Foot Gardening, we found a sunny spot in the yard and made a plan.
Cedar really would have been the best option for the beds, but it was out of our price range. We didn't want to use plain lumber because of the toxins it would leak into the ground. Although it is less than ideal, we settled on painted lumber (I LOVE the paint color - husband? not so much).
We put river rocks around the beds to keep weeds down and some flagstone for a walkway through the garden area. We put chicken wire underneath each of the beds to try to keep out digging varmits from beneath.
The drip irrigation on a timer has really been a life saver. If I go on vacation, the garden still gets watered. If I forget, the garden still gets watered. This is the number one thing that has turned my black thumb at least military green.
So, after two years of gardening, we have had some great successes (such as an abundant strawberry harvest, beautiful herbs, and lots of broccoli) and we have had many failures (2 years of failed eggplant, spinach destroyed by aphids, and deer eating all our tomato plants). But each year we learn a great deal. It brings me so much joy to tend to the plants with my children and to "pick" our dinner at night.
The Garden My Husband Built is a Finer Thing
This post is a contribution to Finer Things Friday at Amy's The Finer Things in Life.