Friday, June 22, 2012

The difference a few years (and a lot of work) can make

The sun is shining, the bees are busy everywhere I look, and life is beautiful in my little corner of the world. After two good rain days, things are shooting up with the long daylight hours we're having this solstice (the sun didn't set until 10:07 last night), and I've been wandering around with my camera, glorying in it all. Can't help myself... it's lovely to have a garden.

It's a fair bit of work, too... and when I look back over the years, I'm amazed at the changes that have come about through many summer work days. Both front yard and back have been transformed into something different than what they were when we moved in. Below you'll see two pictures of our back yard, taken eight years apart.

When we came to this home, there was a large rock garden/fountain that didn't work anymore (top picture). The previous owner had drilled holes through the little concrete pool at its base so mosquitoes couldn't breed there, and the pump was beyond salvaging. The garden itself was lovely, but shot through with crab grass. So in the summer of 2008, we decided to dismantle it so we could have a larger vegetable patch, and we moved the perennials to the front yard.

Taking the dragon's teeth (as we called the fountain) apart was a huge job. Lee took a sledge hammer to it, and discovered that the fountain builder was a serious guy. There was rebar throughout! And more rocks than we knew how to use.

Once all the rubble was moved out of the way(a half-ton truck load) 
we had to sift through the soil to get rid of the crab grass. 
We let it lie fallow that year so we could root out 
any crab grass that we might have missed.

The following spring, we planted potatoes in that patch...

And this year, we moved the dirt around some more
and built raised beds.

True, our boxes aren't as pretty as the original rock garden/fountain,
but we'll be eating well come autumn, when the flowers are long gone. 
And just so you know, many of those flowers are thriving in our front
yard where the people who walk nursing home residents
around our neighbourhood can stop and enjoy them.

See why I love my little corner of the world? 
The promise of good food, and enough beauty 
to make me happy. Come visit anytime!

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