I can't believe I haven't written about this yet - it's been a week now; no, two!
I have elsewhere complained - long, loud and hard - about the soil Tom-builder left in the one reliably sunny spot here at the greenwood; the one spot any decent gardener would choose to put a garden. Apparently it was also the one spot any normal man-of-a-builder would choose upon which to make concrete, mix noxious chemicals, dump excess rock and gravel, concrete dust, brick and granite debris, wood shavings and pieces, and stucco fixings. The result? A gray quagmire of either a stoney swamp or cracked desert (depending on the weather) that even dandelions shunned.
Not that I'm bitter about it.
Not at all.
Not that I recall - with astonishment - that at one time I actually believed the many reassurances that he fully understood that this favored workspot/dumping ground of his was destined to grow our vegetables and flowers, and that he would restore it to pristine, loamy top-soil condition before he left. Not that I haven't brought it up, just a few times since then. . . . But we've decided not to talk about that any more. Not much anyway.
Instead: look what the king and king-father have done! Ha! Behold the box garden. But I get ahead of myself. First, the power tools. We had staked out the ground and our neighbor, Roger, took pity on us and gave the land a bit of a tilling before we started. We hauled out wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of large rocks! Oh - and to those who ask if we put down the weed/grass-inhibiting paper? Heh?! Ah - no. Weeds don't grow there. . . . let alone grass. Oh. But we'd decided we weren't going to talk about that any more, didn't we? Right. Well then, moving on. Level, square, and several pairs of hands worked on this together. And my full weight on this, too, to stabilize the box being put together. We decided to go with a formal box garden look. There is no reach greater than 4 feet - to make sure you don't have to step into the garden to tend to it. Luther, of course, was a big help. As were the horses down the street. One load of sand, one of forest loam, one of horsey-do. Repeat. Mix well. Up front, there are now box of a different sort - the box wood. They are the new footmen here at the greenwood. I love box.
More box garden pictures to come, as they get planted. So far, they are germinating loads of sugar snap peas, beans, artichokes, morning glories and cosmos. I've also risked a few tomato plants, some eggplant, parsley, basil, cilantro and wild salads. Apparently marigolds are a must, so they dot the landscape as well, although I have never cared much for them. I'll try and get more 'before' pictures and hope that come August, I'll be amazed to see the transformation!