Hello Friends! It's been awhile, hasn't it?
Last summer, I mentioned wanting to add a border to our newly formed "South Side Garden" or, as Doug calls it "the TV room garden" because it's right outside our TV room's window. If you remember, I created this area with 5 repurposed feed buckets from a friend's farmer husband and a lot of sweat equity from me and Doug. I really wish I had a picture of it from before we did anything but it was a hot mess. Weeds were literally knocking on the TV room window they were so tall. Plus, lots of lilies and irises that were so buried they couldn't bloom.
A little refresher... the first "before" photo (but after all weeds were chopped and good flowers transplanted to a newly formed flower bed that's still in the works). Our property line is about one foot from the driveway you see on the far left so it's narrow.
I buried the buckets a few inches and all had drain holes in the bottom that Doug drilled out. This side gets full morning sun and a lot of sun throughout the day until late evening due to my neighbor's trees.
The photo, below, doesn't show things at it's crazies. I planted gourds (why?!) and then chopped them all down after they brought in some nasty bugs that started destroying things. Plus the plants were taking over other plants.
A couple weeks ago, I went out to check on everything and work on some plans for the area, when I noticed someone stole one of the buckets! It was the one on the far left in the above photo - closest to the fence - and it was just gone. They took the poles out, laid them on the ground, and took it all. If you follow me on Instagram, you heard about it. But, we had a sixth bucket that I put back and filled everything up.
Yesterday, I went to work....
It started with a trip to Walmart for the stones. I looked elsewhere but without having to drive 25 minutes to our local hardware store, this was my cheapest option. So it won out! I looked at delivery costs too because I only have a small SUV but it was $100 for delivery... so nope, my determination and stubbornness won for the day.
Below are 50 concrete stones for the raised edge. A nice lady helped me load them into my car but no one was home to help me unload. I unloaded as quickly as I could so my car wouldn't have that much weight in it. These aren't hollow either, like some, so they are heavy! I then had to carry them across the width of our front yard and around to the side yard. It's not a long walk, but I carried them 2-3 at a time.
Here's the area before I added the new (replacement) container and I started digging the edge.
It's hard to see in the photo below (crappy weather), but the little green stake is holding up our new raspberry bush. We have a lot of regular raspberries in our back yard but lost our new golden raspberry bush last year. I can't remember if this is another golden one or a different variety, but here's hoping it'll live here. It's got great growth so far! Also, you can kind of see the giant root I was working around and dug up (large white thing on the right of the raspberry bush).
Here's the edge as it connects to our fence. I forgot to take an after photo (I'll try if the sun ever appears again) now that I've added plants and stepping stones.
The fifth bucket (better known as the replacement bucket or the 6th bucket).... here's hoping no one will take it! Lily thought I should put rocks in the bottom!
Mulch makes everything better! Can you believe that this is "brown" mulch and not black? Not complaining though, it'll fade anyway. Plus at $2 a bag for 2 cubic feet, it's reasonable. I used 4 bags here and felt that it was good coverage.
Hopefully I've taken enough photos that as things grow in and fill out, it'll be easier to compare. I can't wait until I plant my veggies in the containers. I'm thinking about planting two tomatoes (one cherry, one regular), two tomatillos, and one pepper. We have other garden space to add more of anything we want, but I thought those five would be good in these containers. I'll add some peat moss, compost, and potting soil (maybe?) to the containers once I plant the veggies. I may wait a couple weeks for them though as it's still early here.
Behind the buckets are two types of strawberries that I'm crossing my fingers on - Tractor Supply Company had pine berries for sale and I've never seen them available here so I bought a set. They have to be planted with strawberries (the box comes with both) so fingers crossed they are doing ok. There are three good plants so far that I dug out of the mulch. I may add a couple regular strawberry plants too because they weren't looking so good when we planted them. In front of the containers, between the containers and the stones, are a variety of herbs. I will plant a few more soon now the space is bigger. All of the daffodils, minus the big white ones, are from my backyard. I thought the spring bulbs were a fun touch and the herbs can go around them later without messing anything up.
In the very back, by the fence, is half of my clematis from the backyard. The other half is stuck under some major weeds that need chopped out. But it looked like I got a good portion of the plant, so I need to move a trellis over here. I think it'll be nice to have flowers and veggies together so the bees can be happy.
So, stay tuned to watch it all grow! Hopefully we have some warmer weather soon and I'll take better photos when the sun comes out.
Edit: I found one more semi-before photo of the area that was taken during our bathroom remodel. It doesn't fully capture the amount of crappy weeds we had, but you can see the chaos of it starting. You can barely even see the meter near the AC unit.