New Small Raised Beds

Summer is always such a fast season, isn’t it? What with the abundant sunshine and long days keeping us up late and all the outdoor chores to be done it certainly seems like time flies. I’ve been away from this lovely little blog for far too long and an update of what I’ve been up to is overdue.

Sharing photos of some of my garden areas seems like a great place to begin. A 14′ x 25′ย  sunny back corner of our property is where our old truck sat for many years. We’ve since learned the hard way that vehicles really don’t like to sit unused. Suspension, frame and brakes sadly rusted up and she’s off to her new home, a family member with a collection of Chevy’s that could really use the good parts such as tires, windshield, tranny, and more. I feel like we signed her ‘donor card’ and she’s now living on in other old trucks! But once the sentimentalizing passed I began planning what could be done in that old parking pad, and voila! Witness the birth of my small raised bed garden.

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While I’ve had some resistance to sharing my less-than-perfect shots of my far-from-perfect new garden area, I decided that my love for this reborn area just might show through in this post. Plus, enough procrastinating! Hopefully you’ll enjoy and even feel inspired to grab some 1-foot wide boards at the lumber store. These were 12-foot lengths that they cut three times so I could have four 3-foot lengths for each box. Then the soil was delivered in huge bags and we have some left over, waiting to be wheel-barrowed over to the front perennial beds. I’ll just add that to the ever-lengthening To Do list!

Four tomato plants are likely too many for this bed, especially with four pepper plants lined up along the front, and never mind the swath of marigolds being overcome. Ahh… it’ll be fine. Still need to get out there and do some tying up of these sprawling tomatoes but their enthusiasm and daily growth inspires me.

Once we added landscape fabric and bark mulch it’s been feeling cozy back there. The tough fabric helps thwart the weeds and the bench offers a shady spot to sit between waterings. Oh, right. The waterings! Yes I’ve learned how quickly raised beds dry out in hot weather so be prepared if you make small beds. Twice daily watering for these thirsty tomatoes, peppers, basil, beans and summer squash.

One of my favorite statues in our gardens, Saint Francis, tenderly holds a lamb as they stand in a spot that is slowly being overcome with another rogue raspberry plant. Nothing a few snips with the clippers can’t fix but the bees adore those berry blossoms so much that I know St. Francis would have understood a little waiting. Also is a length of fence with a collection of birdhouses and another fence section with a few uplifting adornments behind some tall stands of Hollyhocks and Giant Yellow Mullein over by one of the rain barrels. That precious water-saving barrel is nearly hidden in this photo but it’s there nonetheless, nicely shaded by these giant staples of any self-respecting unkempt cottage garden.

raspberry abundanceAnd what would summer be without an (over) abundance of raspberries! Luckily they freeze beautifully and are delicious and nutritious in all kinds of muffins, smoothies, shortcakes and jams. Well plus fresh too of course. Yummy! Even Nikki, my old blind dog can still find her way to the low-hanging ripe berries for a self-serve tasty treat. Funny dog.

So I truly hope you have enjoyed this wee tour about my humble backyard patch of heaven. This evolving area has been bringing me tremendous joy. I shall endeavor to return with posts and updates much more frequently, my friends.
I trust you are doing well and enjoying your summer!
Until later (but not too much), cheers. Gina

17 thoughts on “New Small Raised Beds

  1. Beautiful garden Gina….. enjoy the time being you and enjoy whats left of the summer in the shade if its hot and peace whether it is hot or not ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love this, Gina. Like you, I plant my raised bed gardens very close under the premise that the deeper, softer soil can sustain more plant life and I’ve never been disappointed! When I go through the litany of things that I have growing most people say: “Wow! You must have a huge garden!” I just respond: “Not really. I just plant things close. The plants don’t seem to mind and I get a big variety that way.”

    1. Hooray! Thanks so much for your kind encouragement Cathy. ๐Ÿ™‚ After reading the book Square Foot Gardening I felt truly inspired to plant close. But this is the first year, so your sharing is greatly appreciated! xo Big happy hugs, Gina

  3. It’s good to see you back, I’ve missed you and what a lovely post to start back with. I love the new garden area and would enjoy sitting on that bench watching over the gardens and yes I can see your love of your new space. So much better looking than a vehicle there. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I got quite the laugh of your truck now a donor, but really it’s not much different is it from human’s donating their body parts after life.

    I too have raised beds and while we have had so much rain I haven’t had to water once this year, I did notice that the beds where I made compost by filling partway with soil and adding and burying my organic food scraps stays wetter than the regular soils and my plants there are thriving better as well.

    1. Hi Lois! So glad you got my intended chuckle at my ‘donor’ vehicle. And yes – this is thousands of times better than a vehicle parking spot. It’s lovely that your rainfall has helped take care of that chore for you – and another wonderful thing about raised beds is that they drain better so plants tend not to get as water-logged as those on ground level. I like the fact that my old dog can’t walk into the beds and even my cats are leaving them alone. (We have other places they are allowed to ‘go’ which I clean frequently. Don’t mind for my own cats but there’s chicken wire around the top of my fences to keep OTHER cats out!) It is good to be back, and your kind encouragement feels like a nice hug. Thank you so much! I’ll be over to catch up shortly. Hugs, Gina

      1. Well, here’s a hug for you (although I don’t know how to type it). I’m glad the cats are staying out of your garden beds they can be such a problem.

        I was thinking about how my garden would have fared this year with all the rain and know I would have lost quite a bit had I not added raised beds. The one thing I did differently from you is that I used thick cardboard rather than fabric weed block, it was cheaper. but either way it works and both will drain.

        1. Thanks for the cyber-hug back my friend! Yes I did do a few layers of newspaper before the fabric (forgot to mention that) because we have some noxious weeds back there but it is working wonders! But thanks for mentioning that since any readers here in comments can note how thick cardboard works great as a weed barrier. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. What a lovely garden space you have created! Whenever I see empty spots in yards, I always think, “What kind of garden would I put here?” That creative urge cannot be stopped (who would want to?)! Maybe you could add soaker hoses to your beds so that your watering won’t be such a chore. The slow dripping keeps the soil evenly moist, which the tomatoes will love. I love your branched bench and birdhouses, so welcoming. ๐Ÿ™‚


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