Rather an exciting weekend at Greet's cottage. I attacked the front garden Saturday morning with some stakes and string and this is what it looks like now, in early morning before the bake of the sun sets in:
I can't believe we did this in a total of about 12 hours. I put in 8 on Saturday, 3 of which was me fussing with string, tape measure and stakes, and the remaining 5 we worked together at moving all of the cinder blocks necessary, a lot of dirt, and a bit of sod. Yesterday we did a bit more dirt (removed nearly all of the Lump O' Composted Driveway from the backyard), and moved a bunch of mulch from down the street.
I have some lemon thyme to put in, as you can see along the main aisle, and more English thyme started from seed - when it gets bigger it will be a low hedge all the way around all the beds.
All this activity has been inspired by a book, Creative Vegetable Gardening.
I've been really enjoying this one, which has lots of potager examples as well as good technical info on things like pruning fruit trees to shapes (the things to be done with apples!), and making patterns with cut-come-again greens. I had been very frustrated, as most coffee-table/design books are not on vegetable gardens, and the seed catalogs only show you a dish of edibles, not what the plant looks like.
Beware though - I set it down last weekend and determined that our 70'x40' front garden needed all its beds and paths switched around to a more formal pattern, so that I'll like it better when it's empty, er, dormant, er, when I'm THINKING.
I am so lucky to have a husband who happily totes cinder block, schleps soil, and spreads mulch. (The sod-moving produced grumbling, but we'd never tried to do that before.) Nobody tripped over any layout strings, and this morning we both seem to be able to walk. (I hope it lasts.)
Of course, I'm not near done. Gardens are never done. I have this patch of lettuce to set out:
and this jungle to clear still:
We're thinking we'll rip out that pampas grass and replace it with a pineapple guava I just got, and march some agave down the right side of the main aisle. All that yellowish cast iron will come out, too. (For those of you not applying the 'IT MUST BE USEFUL/EDIBLE' rule to your landscapes, cast iron is a fantastic shade plant. Takes everything but sun.)
After the pineapples recover a bit from the last freezes, I want to move them to that bit of triangle near the parking spot. Also, the brand new fruit trees now clearly have to be in a perfect square...and they aren't. Should be able to do that this week.
No idea what I'm going to put in that central rectangle. It's a pretty hot spot, so I have to think about it. I'll throw some basil in there immediately, because I have them coming up. Also sprouting are sunflowers, some marigolds and zinnia, unknown curcurbits (I planted two ornamental gourds, watermelon and pumpkins in last year's compost heap, but I don't know what's where quite.)
Funny how I'm not really tired by all this work - more like exhilarated.