Monday, May 7, 2012

Gardening-The Big Box

May 2011
I just haven’t gotten the gardening bug this year.  I don’t know if it’s because of the mild winter, or that we busted our bums getting stuff done last year.  I think it’s because Target closed their plant section.  I made weekly trips buying plants and garden décor.  I rarely make it there anymore.  No incentive.Our local high school and garden club have a fund raiser every year selling plants that the kids in the agriculture group grow.  It’s a good deal and the plants are healthy and do well.  We chose not to bother with it this year.  I’m just hoping the perennials do well.  I just need to get out there and get a handle on the weeds and grass growing in my garden beds.
We bought this house from an avid gardener.  I inherited 68 pots of plants in the backyard alone.  Beautiful plants like Hibiscus.  I know there were  68 in the backyard because every time there was a hurricane we moved them into the garage.  I think they may have done better left alone, but we were worried about the wind carrying them through someone’s window.  Over the years I have gotten rid of all of them.  The pots were made of plastic that deteriorated easily.  I had mixed feelings about getting rid of them, but it was a daily chore getting them watered.
Hurricane Ivan changed our landscape permanently.  I’m thankful the damage wasn’t more severe, but the aftermath was a few years into the making.  We lost a large oak tree that shaded a good portion of our yard and deck.  There was a beautiful garden bed that butted off the the t box (we have a golf course in our backyard).  They had put it there to help manage the drainage issues in that area.  After Ivan all the plants slumped forward in the bed.  I tried unsuccessfully several times to make it right.  The golf course also changed things up a bit for us as well.  They decided to cut down the hill the t box was on to make the course more difficult.  They ended up burying a good portion of two flower beds in the process.
may10 2010
Prepping the old bed 2010
may10 475
The slope we had to deal with
I had this great idea to re do the garden beds into raised garden beds.  There are three distinct beds in our backyard and all three were made up of various materials.  I didn’t mind that part at all, but I figured if we were going to put the time and effort into it we may as well have some continuity along the way.  As with all our DIY efforts the last box was constructed the best.  Trial and error and dealing with slopes and such.
Flowers 001
Pre stain and dirt-I had to test some flowers though.
We basically used pressure treated wood.  In the process of building the larger box (it ended up 26’x8’-we actually cut the length down from the original bed) we decided to make it tiered.  I also wanted better access to it from our side-so we put in some stairs in the middle.  I’m not fond of sitting on the ground down here so my husband added wood along all the edges for seating.  I was extremely happy with the final results we achieved, although the six truck loads of topsoil and I believe one load of compost and manure was back breaking work.  We had some mishaps.  We had strengthened the  boards we used for the sitting area thinking that it looked like a great place to walk on if you were a kid.  I’m thankful we did that because not a week later the golf course hooked it with their mower.  Not too much damage, but it isn’t as square as it was before.
May2 2010 013
It took some backtracking to layer in some concrete pads to
stabilize the bird bath.  May 2010

If you like this post you may also enjoy:
New Trellis and Steps
Big Box Update
Comments are appreciated and welcomed!


  1. I LOVE raised garden beds - yours looks fabulous!!

    68 plants - oh how I wish I had gotten my hands on those babies! Except the hibiscus - the squirrels loved eating mine so I don't even bother with them anymore! The birds must love their new home.

  2. Thank you Kelly-it is fun watching birds splash in the water!