Progress! The transformation of the ugliest corner of my garden continues. I spent several hours yesterday and today schlepping rocks and shoveling dirt. Using bamboo to outline the beds, I smoothed out portions of the newly-spread dirt and carried rocks up, bucketful by bucketful, from the back yard where I'd piled them (the rocks came from excavations for a new subdivision a few blocks away).
First I outlined the outside walls of all four rectangular beds and the bed along the sidewalk in rocks. After filling the long bed along the sidewalk with dirt saved from making the flagstone paths earlier this summer, I finished outlining two of the beds with more rocks,and began the filling process. First, a layer of used shavings from the guinea pig pen, then a layer of the sandy topsoil. Then some half-finished compost from one of the compost bins, then some more sandy topsoil. That filled the first two beds to the level of the first layer of rocks. Here's where I left off today:
And from another angle:
I'll need to shift the pile of topsoil a bit to do the other two beds. By then the pile should be small enough to mound up in the middle, where a center circular bed will go. Once I've done one layer of rocks, I'll stack the next and fill in some more with the remaining topsoil and compost.
Hooray, hooray, I'm finally going to have what I've been wanting for a long time: a neat little potager, a French-style kitchen garden. When the dead crabapple comes out, I'll plant some semi-dwarf fruit trees near the house. The long bed is for blueberries, cordon apples, and strawberries, with flowers next to the sidewalk. The rectangular beds are for veggies, and the circular bed is for herbs and flowers to attract butterflies and other beneficial insects.