Showing posts with label Abandoned garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Abandoned garden. Show all posts

28 February, 2020

Abandoned Garden Update/Plumber, but?

Between true-to-form pure Kentucky Fool's Spring and the various indignities of being closer to 50 than to 40, it's taken longer to get started than I would prefer. And since I'm getting ready to head out of town... taking the old gray dog down to San Antonio to AWP, the annual confluence of academics, writers, and publishers of same, I wanted to at least get started on the Abandoned Garden by working on what we have here: the bones of it:

1. move and prepare the raised bed
2. start clearing out the shed so it can be torn down
3. begin prepping the ground to plant red clover.


What we got done was moving and turning over the soil in two of the raised beds. That took considerably longer than I planned, if only because we made the huge mistake of not keeping the beds covered since we harvested the last garden two summers ago. Between the time weather, breaking up the soil was like breaking up layers of shale in places; but the soil... which had nice mixture of compost as well... is, once broken up, rich and plant ready with very little work, which Amanda and I were both pretty excited about.  


We moved and turned two beds, leaving two beds left to move and turn. We also moved he compost bin over, giving us a chance to turn that over to get it ready to use for our planting this year. The raised beds tend to work well for greens (like chard), herbs (basil, mint, thyme), peppers (Banana, Serrano,  and Jalapeno primarily, but we've done ok with sweet poblanos, too), and one summer of rampant cukes that nearly undid the peppers and taught me to NEVER plant viny plants in a raised bed and expect them to share. The two beds to the right are the ones we moved. Anticipating some upcoming weather... because, you know, Fool's Spring... we covered those two beds with cardboard and weighed them down with some cement edging that's pretty much useless in its previous position of keeping critters out from under the shed. 

Tearing down the shed will end up being it's own mini-project; there's a huge hole in the roof (not visible in this picture) and we're thinking of using the space to either expand the garden or add some chickens to the menagerie. 

Domestic Amiss: plumber, but?


One of the things about an old house is that you inherit not only old house problems, but also the "fixes" that previous owners made.  This issue, though, is a fairly common one, and not one  I can blame (really) on the former owners. Faucets wear out. drains and pipes need to be replaced. In our case, we also need to remove the garbage disposal because it's no longer functioning as such and we are, for now, replacing it with a regular drain. We don't have many food scraps because we're pretty good about composting what can be composted and using what can be used.

Also, because the pipes need to be replaced and the disposal is basically
just something for water to drain through, we use buckets under the sink to catch water. Also, the faucet handle, while functional will not stay attached. And the faucet itself drips constantly... which is not only annoying, but expensive.

So, it's time. Past time, really. And I was intending to do this today while the Amanda was at work and the house was empty... but my recently mostly healed foot decided to remind me that I use it a lot getting down on the floor and standing back up... so, it's getting done tomorrow when Amanda's home and can ensure that I don't end up wallowing on the floor like a flipped over turtle.







31 January, 2020

Domestic Projects: The Abandoned Garden

Besides cleaning toilets, yard work is my least favorite thing to do, mostly because yard work, like cleaning toilets, is a never ending job. Grass is a pernicious weed that always needs mowing and is good for next to nothing. But if you don't keep the grass manicured, then neighbors complain and municipalities get involved.  I have one neighbor who mows maybe twice a season; the neighbor on the other side mows twice a day.

The truth is, I'm not a good homeowner. I'm just
not. manicuring lawns that serve no purpose other than giving me something to do and judge my manhood by hold no interest for me. It's not for the lack of trying. The futility of it drives me crazy. It's reflective of the futility of middle class pretensions, the futility of the so-called American Dream, the futility of living a life defined by a collective notion of success that's convinced us we're exchanging time in our "working years" for a well-earned "rest" when our working days are done. It's chasing a commercial... a manicured, curated, and fabricated lie.





Lately, I'm starting to think there may be art in maintaining a relationship with the space where you live. As it happens, I've wandered into home ownership. Amanda and I have had fairly successful vegetable gardens in the past and we are going to take a run at it again this year.  I keep thinking, though, that there has to be more I can do with the bit of space I've been given stewardship over besides the bare minimum to keep the city off my back.

So I've decided to create a garden. A real one. But since I don't have piles and piles of disposable income around, I've got to do it on the cheap. 

I'm calling it The Abandoned Garden.

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to posting sketches... probably not good ones, since I can't draw for shit... of my initial plans. My goal is to use materials we have on hand, things we can trade for, and materials that are other people's leftovers, or things that are found or abandoned.  My goal is a garden... and a yard... that is both beautiful AND functional -- and something representational of the life Amanda and I are building together.

The core of The Abandoned Garden project:


  • a simple but well planned vegetable and herb garden;
  • a rain garden along left fence;
  • small red clover instead of grass; and
  • a demarcated stone path.


We're also going to be tearing down the shed, which is barely a shed at this point, anyway.

I hope you keep reading and follow the journey. I'm starting with very little knowledge of the process, but I'm a good researcher and not afraid of work I care about. 

Poetry is found in all kinds places, in all kinds of forms. I hope you'll come along as we work to compose this one.




Like the blog and podcast? Please consider a one-time donation

REALLY like the blog and podcast? Be a patron!