A building project towards gardening

May 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment


In March or early April,  a friend posted a link on facebook  that intrigued me. It took me to the Sunset website and Edible Gardening page where someone had posted photos of  raised garden beds for small spaces. A reader can order the plans to build the large bed shown.

On showing the page to my husband, we talked about this as an option, since our soil in our area of the city is largely sand. For the flowerbeds, we’ve gone with drought-tolerant plants and that has worked well for us, but garden plants are diffferent. While some may survive in sand, it doesn’t work for all plants, including those we especially wanted to grow, such as tomatoes and cucumbers.

We’ve struggled with the sandy soil, adding compost, but even that was not quite enough; the water drains away so fast. With a raised bed we could bring in soil and have something better to work with. My husband had the concept and wanted to come up with his own plan for the boxes. They will look alike but  will better suit our city lot with sloped backyard. He knows how to build, after all, and is precise in his measurements and so we agreed we would build a box… or two.


DSCF7088                                                                                                                                Plants ready for our garden plus some overgrowth of plants for sharing


My husband drew out his own plan, similar to the one on the website, and he priced out the supplies—lumber, screws, cover and netting— and estimated the overall cost. It caused him to sit back on his heels a bit but we felt we’d have better chances of successful gardening and so we went ahead. We went to our friendly neighbourhood building and supply store and loaded up all we needed on a cart then brought it all home and unloaded the lumber and supplies.


DSCF7084My husband making sure the board will fit. Peter, ready to lend a hand.


Once the pieces were cut to the right length, our patio became the assembly place. Fortunately we’ve had a string of good days, some of them cool but not rainy. A project like this can take hours of careful measuring and lining up. And of course a hand is welcomed now and then to hold things in place. I was out there as was our  next-door neighbour who was also interested in how the project would come together. Thanks, Peter, for your helping hand.

Then came Saturday, the day we moved the first  box into its place in the backyard. There were four of us in on that move. I took a corner and Peter and his wife helped too.


DSCF7100 We had  to dig around the space where the box would sit so that there was no grass under the box and so that the box would fit in the slope. The area without grass has been our garden the past few years.

Our small granddaughters were excited to help plant the garden, but there was still work to be done to get it ready. Once the box was in its place and levelled, we still needed to add soil from the pile on the driveway that had been delivered two days prior. It’s a big undertaking. We chose 3 in 1 soil that had peat and compost added to it.


DSCF7105 The box lowered into place and beginning to be filled. The ramp on the front is for running the wheelbarrow up to dump the  soil.


DSCF7107 We appreciated the extra hands two daughters offered, one in helping her father to get the soil levelled and the other in managing the wheelbarrow loads. Thanks Sarah and Laura (shown). Our granddaughters each got a small shovel and a pail to fill so they could be part of the action.



The first box, filled and planted. We have plastic tubing and bird netting over the top and a cord currently wrapped around the base to keep the netting in place. My husband has another plan in mind, but for now it will keep out small animals and birds that might want to taste our seeds and plants.



…and a view from one end.


The second box is in place now and needs its soil added. More news another day as our garden grows.

Please share your garden stories and happy gardening!






Entry filed under: budget, Gardening, photography, plants, seasons. Tags: , , , , .

Milk Bag Mats continue Canadian Writers Who Are Christian– Blessings on the road ahead

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