Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Creating the Garden of Our Dreams

Ever since we bought our home 8 years ago we always had a garden in the back yard.  It was something we loved to prepare and harvest each summer. 
Up until summer of 2013 when we had decided to take down a tree to make room for the addition.
Here is an old picture of what the garden space used to look like.  We had used some leftover lattice materials from a project my parents had done and built a fence to keep our dog and small children (at the time) out of there.  It was a great space with some basic 3/4 minus rock and some raised beds. 
It served our family well for many years.
This picture is from when we had decided to re-seed our grass in the back, and I am showing you this so you can see the space where the tree sits.

This view is from the West side of our house where the old tree used to live, and the garden is all the way on the other side.

Winter of 2014, this picture was taken from that exact same location.  We literally lost everything we had ever created in our backyard.  It was a bittersweet moment for sure.
Fast forward to the spring of 2015 where Oregon was experiencing the most amazing weather.  We scheduled a day to pour all of our exterior concrete, and then you guessed it..... it RAINED!!  
I had taken my kids to school and returned home to find our concrete workers on my roof.  The fabulous tarp job  held so well that not one drop of water got on the concrete.

After the concrete was done we had decided to get the garden going in time for the season and also for our family reunion on June 19th!

We ended up buying some redwood garden boxes that come in 4 parts, and you semi DIY them yourself.

If you are local to Eugene/Springfield, check out Redwood Northwest, they have amazing things for your garden and outdoors!
We got all the boxes laid out where we wanted them and used a laser to make sure they were all the same height off the ground since naturally the yard slopes to the back.
This was the point where I had a light bulb moment and told my husband that the ONE thing with the garden is in August we are pretty much over the daily watering that we let everything kind of go.  We didn't have the funds to have automatic sprinklers installed, so I figured out a way to DIY one.
We dug a shallow trench from the hose spigot to the box that was exactly centered in the garden.

Here you can see the pipe coming up out of that small box in the center and it runs all the way underground as seen in the bottom of the picture.

We bought a $25 automatic water timer and hooked it up using some pvc connectors.

Right about this time, our neighbor came over and suggested that we build a new fence between our houses since it was looking a little drab.  While building a fence isn't a big deal..... it becomes a BIG deal when you are putting in a rock walkway that will be along the fence line.  That means all projects are stopped and you jump right into fencing.

It only took about 3 days to set posts, hang the 2x4's and then hang the fence boards.  I was really liking the outcome, and was completely ok with the delay on the garden project.

If you follow me on instagram, you saw this picture:
Alight fence is done, and we had also finished the garden boxes by putting a top rail on each of them using some redwood 2x4's.  Now it was time to get the rock started.
My dad is a bit of a construction hoarder (ahem.... you wonder where I get it from) and has had several pallets of this rock stored at one of the mill's.  He was gracious enough to let us use it for our project.... I mean let's be real... he has no plans for this at all.
I remember reaching this point and feeling so good about the garden.  What you can't see is the mess in the rest of the yard and an un-finished walkway.  But from here, I was happy.
That night we got the sprinkler head installed and put it to the test.  It works perfect, and that means no more watering the garden by hand!!
I stepped outside first thing this morning to snap a few pictures to show you where things are today.  The family reunion has passed and things are almost complete around here.
Here are a few before and after's:
Once the rock settles in another month or so, we will come back through with some masonry sand that will harden over time. 



One of my favorite boxes.  This is the official herb garden.  It looks a little bare as we did start a little late into the season.
I mean in one months time, this garden sure has transformed.  I cannot wait to bring in all of my rusty junk and put some personal touches on it.
And last but not least, the walkway is almost completed.  We still need to build our gate at the end and then the rock will lead up to that and even go beyond the gate a few feet on the front side of the house.
I want to thank each and every one of my readers for coming by today to see this leg of our journey.  It's been two years of pure crazy building fun that we wouldn't change for the world. 
Come back next week to see some more of what has gone on indoors!
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