Monday, March 17, 2008

The Kitchen Garden: Before Pictures

On the east side of the house, we have two staircases and two small yards. Nothing was planted there when we bought the place and the other day I had the brainy idea to rake up the mulch and see what the soil was like underneath. I thought it would be nice to have flowers, and some herbs in these beds. Ha! The mulch covered a perfect clay base. No dirt AT ALL.

Despite that lack of soil, I decided that if I built up the stones surrounding the bed, I could fill it with soil and just ignore the clay underneath. 12 bags of top soil=480 pounds in the first trip. The second trip, 15 bags=600 more pounds and still only a third of the area is filled. We need help.

Above you will see the sidewalk and the one small bed shot last summer. I was too dirty to take current pictures.
Our late ducks are observing the mulch, and standing on some flat rocks, the first course of which is now built up to 15" high.
Today Bob the Landscaper is bringing in a truckload of topsoil+mushroom compost and we hope it will fill up this bed completely. Pictures will follow.


  1. By late duck... do you mean they no longer exist? Did they make a critical comment on your work? They are looking a little skeptical....

  2. Oh I hope you've made some cookies or bread or something wonderful for Bob the Landscaper. I want him to be your new best friend.

  3. Hhhhmmmmmmm.....compost.......(in my best Homer Simpson).....

    I saw this great garden in some magazine years ago. The guy live in the Pacific NW somewhere and his property around his house was nothing but rock. He used rocks and bales of straw to build the beds and filled them with compost and soil just like you are doing. As the straw bales deteriorated they became compost too. He ended up with lovely rolling gardens and you would never guess that less than 18" below the surface was nothing but solid rock.

    Good luck! I can't even plant my peas today as the ground is still frozen!

    Happy St. Paddy's Day to ya!


  4. Top o' the Mornin' to ya!
    Hmmmm...late ducks?
    I will play the part of Scarlett O'Hara and think about that tomorrow.
    Hope you get a lot of help from Bob. Your back must be screaming by now.

  5. I know how you feel after carrying all of those bags of topsoil. I got a truckload of dirt 3 yrs. ago and shared halves with my neighbor. I used a wheelbarrow and moved my half a truckload to 2 flowerbeds. The only good news, I had muscles afterwards. Oh, and yes the flowers liked it too.

  6. Anonymous1:59 PM

    Your home is so pretty. You picked a beautiful place to retire.
    Of course all the work you are doing doesn't sound like being retired...... maybe just TIRED!

  7. Watch out! I know why the ducks are interested in your industry. I watched my grandmother planting a row of seedlings as two ducks follow along quietly behind her snacking on her efforts. I got a spanking for not telling her two rows sooner.

  8. Anonymous4:21 PM

    We had a pair of geese, brothers, and the raccoons dispatched Stan. We learned that we had to shut them up at night to protect them. That's been several years ago and Ollie continues (he's 16) safely as long as he goes in for the night.

  9. Hi Melody I have been reading your blog for a number of years now, it was the first blog I read, but I have never had the courage to comment. However, my nosiness has overcome my shyness. I have been wondering about the ducks for a while now. I thought I saw a side box saying the ducks were no more but the next day it had gone and I couldn't find anything in your blog so I started to think I'd imagined it!! I hope they didn't suffer and just went south for the winter! I still remember Jet, whose grumpy photo used to be on your home page, he used to make me chuckle. Popeye looks like our adopted cat Reg only not as fat! When my cat died Reg came into the garden and ran up to be stroked, then went into the house and stayed. We found his owners who said he was always wandering and we also found out he had the same name as my husband - we think he heard me calling my husband in the garden and thought, hey they know me, it must be safe here, went into the house and saw all the lovely snoozing spots and thought "my lucky day"! Good luck with the garden , I shall be watching your progress from my comfy chair LOL!!


So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com