Friday, June 25, 2010

The Yard: After

I'm so sorry this is a year late!  I started this huge "Raised Bed/Patio Yard of DOOM" project last year and totally neglected to post the finished result! So here it is a year and 2 months late:
Day 2
Progress shot Day 2 (Day 1 was just me ripping things out and digging out a stump)
This was taken April '09.  Before I started this project the yard was a gloomy overgrown mess, constantly damp and shady.  I wanted to have a vegetable garden and an area that I would enjoy spending time in. The paved section, with lumber sitting on it, was previously a pit of gravel.  It was too unstable to set chairs on and wasn't very inviting.  The pavers were about $200 and it took me 2 days to do it.  Luckily the ground was level and fairly compacted, if not it would have been an extra days worth of work.  I really LOVE the stone path that the previous owners put in.  They made some good choices, but it just wasn't optimized.

Our little yard
After the paving was done I started building the raised beds.  This corner of the yard was the sunniest.  I had to remove a mound of dirt and the stump from a sizable prunus tree.  It was a biatch, someone had planted it with a wire cage around the root-ball?!  Thank you who ever it was... thank you very much.
After I leveled the dirt I marked where the beds would sit.  I decided to make 2 beds for that corner.

Day 3
Progress shot Day 3
There are many ways to build a raised bed.  I used this raised bed tutorial from Popular Mechanics and changed the design a bit.  Since it's such a small area I didn't need the drip system.  The basic idea is to build a 4 sided box without a bottom.  The lumber cost was about $120 and I had another $40-$50 worth of misc. supplies like screws, weed blocker, PVC tubing and brackets for the trellis/tent system.  I had most of the tools required so I didn't have to buy anything but the materials.  There's also the cost of dirt...
If you're not the handyman type or don't have a chop saw etc... there are kits you can buy.  They're usually pricier and do not include lumber.  Here are some that I like:
Natural Yard Kit The cool thing with this one is that you can take it apart and you can put it together with just a hammer.

Garden in June
This is the yard finished.  This picture was taken 2 months after I started the project.  It took me 4-5 days over the period of 2 weeks to finish.  It's become a much needed space for me.  I love poking around in the dirt even when I'm crazy busy with work.  Being in it is very peaceful and I can just let my mind go blank for awhile.

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