Dig, dig, dig…16 of 52 Weeks – Beautiful and Useful

Rebounding from the flu and a week of nothingness with a bigger physical project. Of course, I didn’t do it by myself. My trusty partner, Big S, was the main excavator on this project.

The Verge

Part I: Pathway to the car

We were really wearing out the lawn (or rather clover) between the road and the sidewalk. After redoing the backyard last year, we had a few paving stones left over and figured it was about time to put them to work.
We measured out and dug a 24″ x 10′ x 4″ deep hole. Then little footprints were danced in the freshly dug space. Happy little footprints.
Then we levelled and compacted the area, and got ready to lay down the pavers.
After everything was securely placed, we topped the whole thing off with pea gravel, and I promptly forgot to take a photo of the finished area, because we immediately decided to start Part II.
Part II : The Berme
Roughly sectioned-off piece of land.
Look at him, all official in work-boots (those boots in no way reflect how soft this guy’s hands are…which really reflects more closely our lifestyle…but you know, he looks ready to work, doesn’t he?).
We used the leftover soil from the ‘car pathway’ to make a berme. After we got it to the correct shape (I want the berme to feed the garden, so there is a slow slope down to the garden, and a sharp edge to the roadway), I covered the area with a tarp in hopes of killing off any unwanted weeds. The tarp will stay over the area for a couple of weeks, while I forage for large stones and scour craigslist for pretties to plant.
A friend provided most of the plants for the verge garden, and I scrounged around the yard for a few others to make the garden stretch a little further. I’ve got some veggies on the way, and will plant those in the coming weeks. So far, I’ve got a yew bush, himalayan bushes, day lillies, lady’s mantle, blue columbine, bearded iris, foxglove, peony, black-eyed susan, delphinium, lupine, and hollyhocks. Now who says that you can’t garden on the cheap, I think if you put your mind to it, anything can happen. This whole project was free, just our labour and the tools that we already had (which were free too…and have seen better days, but who cares).
In the next few weeks, I’ll be updating with pictures, as I’ve got a few seeds, some herbs and some veggies to add to the plot. Can’t wait to see this thing grow!
What has everyone else been up to this last week? Has spring hit for you – I know the changes around here have been amazing. Just last week, there weren’t any leaves on the maple trees, and now, they’re loaded with brightly coloured leaves.
Thanks again to Jules for hosting this series, it wouldn’t be half as much fun without her.


14 thoughts on “Dig, dig, dig…16 of 52 Weeks – Beautiful and Useful

  1. You are planting beteen your sidewalk and the road? Unfortunately, that isn’t legal, here–though there have been a fe battles beteen city hall and some intrepid souls.

    I hope your garden “takes” and is strong and healthy! We can’t even grow grass (or clover!) in our front yard.

    • There’s been this whole new movement in Vancouver to ‘green’ the city, there are certain plants that one’s allowed to plant in the verge…I didn’t pay enough attention though. There’s a grant too, but I need to apply for it still. Maybe other Canadian cities will move towards this? Time will tell.

    • I’ve got a plan for more free plants. Printed out a bunch of postcards with a picture of our rather empty garden, and have a nice statement on it, I’m going to ask folks around the neighbourhood, who have nice gardens if they would be willing to split a plant or two to donate to our garden, and in turn, I’ll split any of mine that folks are interested in. I’m also willing to help in their garden in return for plants. Hopefully the idea will grow.

  2. Great work! Ah, green grass. I will say that the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the road is the biggest waste of water. Glad you put some pretty plants in it to make it all worth it.

    • Lovely green grass is a terrible waste of water and full of harmful chemicals. Plus, to be honest, the grass is pretty mossy and full of clover…which isn’t terribly lovely either. Our neighbours asked me to help them plant their verge too…100′ of garden – can’t wait (should help with noise reduction too). Hopefully, after this summer, the whole thing will be self-watering – we’ve no shortage of rain around these parts.

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