Monsoon season is upon us, and the skies have been pouring down rain most of the week. A few sun breaks allowed me to getou tand get a bit more done on the garden -- and to discover the quagmire in the middle. Not unexpected. After all, it's sitting on top of unimproved clay that had a couple of tons of concrete squashing it flat for years. When things dry out again and most of the water drains away, I'll pull the sandy topsoil aside in the paths and dig some drainage pits or trenches, fill them with gravel, cover with fine screen or landscaping cloth, and rebury them. That will give at least some of the water someplace to go. Now if only I could figure out a good way to save some of that water for later in the summer when drought season hits.
So here's what we have after this weekend's labors:
Rocks, rocks, and more rocks! I was able to stack a double layer in the main beds and fill the beds with topsoil and compost. Since everything is boggy in the middle, I think I'll leave it as it is for a while. If we get a dry spell it may drain enough to work with some more, but otherwise the beds are pretty much as I want them. I just need a little mulch on the paths, and I'll need to let them dry out and drain first.
The basalt rocks look sort of raw and yellow still, but they'll mellow to a reddish rust color. The red is just on the surface where the iron compounds in the stone oxidize -- in essence, the surface of the stone rusts.
Next, I'll haul some concrete squares that my mom has and use them to make a tiny patio at the back, just big enough for a bench. The remaining squares will be stepping stones for the path around the garden. I'll also start moving strawberry plants from the patch where they are now up to the long bed in front, where they should get more sun. I may move the blueberries I have now, too, since sometime in the future I want to build a small wall along the access in the back, and I'd have to move them anyway.
Come spring, I'll plant two dwarf pears on either side of the teeny patio. By then I hope the dead tree will be gone, and I'll replace that with a small cherry tree, with a second cherry (since they need a pollinator) at the other end of the front garden.
Can't wait for spring to come. When this garden is overflowing with greenery, it'll be a sight to see.