Raised bed vegetable garden

Today was the day.  We crawled out of bed to our respective morning routines. For Rhonda and me, it was a cup of coffee, savored in solitude, me in my office, Rhonda on the chilly patio. J was awake sometime…because by 9:30 we were all outside working on the yard, as planned.

Since the dreadful, murderous freeze in late February, our yard has been a disaster.  Cold weather and busy schedules prevented us from dealing with the mounting mess.  Limbs from 4 dead palm trees were stacked on the side of the yard; spindly arms of dead hibiscus poked out of the ground beneath the big oak tree. In fact, the bed that forms the apron around that oak tree was littered with death.  Nothing but an English mint plant and a couple of sprouting jonquil bulbs remained alive after that brutal ice storm in February.

Piles of dead limbs, trees, herbs were scattered along the fence line, waiting for the weather and our schedules to afford a weekend to clear it all out. This was more work than Rhonda and I could manage.  We needed J’s help, but his schedule has been FULL of disc golf tournaments.  When nothing appeared on the calendar for Easter weekend, I knew the time had come.  I would get at least one weekend in the spring when I wasn’t a disc golf widow.  J agreed he would be there to help with whatever we needed. And he was…more or less.

I was shocked, amazed, bumfuzzled at the amount of work that man was completing in such a short amount of time, then around 10 o’clock he stated he was planning to “throw a round” about 11ish…

Oh…I was not happy about this development.  

You see, I think I am the nicest, most patient wife in the whole wide world.  But there is a reason why I got married.  Actually, there were many reasons, most of which, we will not get into here.  But one of the major reasons was because of his strength, his ability to get shit done that I couldn’t actually do without great pain or discomfort. And as I “discussed” with him this morning, I expected him to stay home and work on the yard with me and Rhonda today since I had so generously wished him well in his myriad weekend trips to play disc golf for weekends on end. This weekend was spoken for and I didn’t plan on him sharing his time on the disc golf course.

But let me tell you, that man can hustle when his tee time is at stake.

J, taking out the flower bed around the oak tree

I  had been after him for several weeks to do the things he managed to do this morning in a mere 3 hours—or less. How does that happen?  Well, I need to figure it out so I can access that productivity mode in him more often! 

Anyway, he truly impressed me with accomplishing so much in such a short time, so I didn’t get my drawers in a tuck when he left around 11 a.m. 

Rhonda and I finished weeding, transplanting bulbs, herbs, and plants we hoped were flowers and not weeds.  Then we headed off to the plant store  where we bought more herbs, squash, melons, peppers, and tomato plants.  A quick stop by the grocery store and we landed back home again. 

After a quick lunch with a cold glass of sparkling wine, Rhonda and I hit it again.  I planted the new herbs and covered the pots with plastic mesh so the cats wouldn’t use the soft, fresh dirt for a litter box.  Rhonda fertilized the baskets hanging on the fence and planted moss rose and petunias.  She also planted  more petunia, moss rose, and dusty miller in some stone pots.  She then covered the soil in these with rocks to dissuade the cats.

Friday afternoon J had assembled the two raised bed planters I bought at Tractor Supply and filled them with organic soil specifically formulated for raised beds.  Whew!  They smell like a feed lot!  But I’ll bet the plants will like them. I know my own and Rhonda’s back will feel better than crouching down to ground level to attend garden plants.

 Vegetables are now planted in the raised beds and J laid the sod around the oak tree.The flower bed around that tree was never particularly gratifying and after the destructive hail storm last April and the deadly ice storm in February this year, we decided to let it go.  Besides, the baskets hanging on the fence work well with my aging in place strategies for gardening, as does the raised bed vegetable garden.

Although the vegetation in the yard looks pretty sparse at the moment, it all looks so much better than when we started this morning. We are all good and tired, but none of us are exhausted.  That is one of the greatest benefits of living together: We share the load, share the energy, share the work, share the benefit.  We’ve never been able to get so much work done in our yard in a single day.  I’m sure the lure of a disc golf game helped speed things up, but working as a team was the real booster we needed, a great motivating factor that allowed us to get a whole lot done in a short amount of time.

I’ll be posting more photos as spring progresses toward summer.  What plans do you have for your growing space this season?

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