Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Veggie Garden Rescue

Looks good, right? I was so very excited when I initially toured my new house and saw a fenced veggie garden with raised beds already in place - it was on my list of things I would do in my new house but even better - the hard work was already done!! forward a few months and when I went to rip everything out of the garden before the first frost I stepped into the garden and fell through the whole back just collapsed. It was completely and totally rotted out. 

Oh boy. 

Sweetie to the rescue!

I asked him to put his amazingly creative brain to work and come up with a plan to rescue the veggie garden. 

His initial thought was that we need to bulldoze it and start over. 

I crushed that idea. I don't need or want a "perfect" garden - I like my little crooked country garden!! 

His brilliant mind came up with what I think is a great plan. I just love seeing how his mind works - totally different from mine but I can learn so much from him!

He drilled through the railroad ties that were the foundation of the garden and into the ground below, a total of 10 inches, and inserted 5 pieces of 40" tall re-bar. 

Then he wedged three 16 ft  2 x 10 pressure treated boards in between the soil and the re-bar. 

This photo was when he only had two boards in....he asked my opinion on whether or not I wanted the third...the answer was YES. 

The property is on such a slope (we live on a mountain, after all!) I figured we needed all the extra support we can get to keep the soil from washing out. 

The corner supports were rotting out as well - my sweetie replaced some, reinforced others. Leveled things out the best he could, given the slope the garden is on. 

His little shadow was right there to help, of course. 

Look how much better it looks now!! 

The back wall is now incredibly strong and sturdy! It was so wobbly before we actually had a rope tied from the top rail to one of the ground level boards holding part of it up! 

Don't mind the cedar shakes sticking out of the soil - that marks the edge of my garlic patch so I don't forget where I planted it when spring rolls around. My memory is not what it once was...

Such an amazing improvement over the way it was!! Oh, weren't didn't see when it all collapsed on top of my foot. And filled my shoe with dirt. And bugs. Ugghhh. 

Sweetie picked up 8 bags of drainage stone to put down back here to help keep the weeds down and make it a little less muddy. That will clean things up nicely!

It looks so good now - the garden was really in desperate need of some TLC!! Yay, Sweetie!

You can see where the garden is tucked in next to the detached garage. It's really a good spot for it - plenty of sun shines back here! The little corner behind the garden has a new container garden I put in this past summer. There's also a Lilac growing up against the garden fence as well as a Forsythia. 

The border against the side fence of the garden has a mess of mint along with a rosebush, some Rudbeckia I put in over the summer, and few other random perennials. It needs a little rehab - it's on my list for next summer. 

The little corner at the back of the garden was a horrible mess when I first moved here. The previous owners used to get their garden soil (mushroom dirt) dumped back here and the area was full of giant weeds and old rotten tarps and other junk. It got a good clean out, I laid down a weed barrier (cardboard boxes from moving day that I cut up) and bordered it with stones. A few bags of mulch really helped finish things off. 

I put two small whiskey barrels I brought from my previous house in the corners and planted grasses, Petunias, Million Bells and Creeping Jenny in them. I absolutely loved the grasses - they were one of my favorites!! 

The center planter is an old metal trough I found over by my garden cottage - I placed it on top of two andirons I found near the fire pit and planted Dahlias, Petunias, Creeping Jenny, and a type of Coleus in there. 

I love how this area turned out - it did not take much $$ as I used many of the items I had or found around the property. Just some hard work! Of course it's all dead now but I have big plans for the spring. 

The front of the veggie garden has an arbor I put in this summer with a climbing rose and Clematis on either side. There's a clump of Iris at the corner along with more mint. That darned mint. Bane of my gardening existence. It's not even GOOD mint - I can't even use it for Mojitos!!

The arbor needs to be straightened out now. I intentionally installed it "crooked" to go with the original crooked garden. Now that the garden is straighter we'll need to shift it over a bit. 

One of the last things Sweetie did to spruce up the garden was to make me this lovely new gate. He made this out of cedar and gave it a coat of Sikkens stain to protect it. The garden got a facelift and it looks so happy!!

Sweetie is putting in new flat stones in front of the gate and is thinking of putting in a stone path leading to the patio to keep my tootsies clean. 

Such a cute and thoughtful man I have!!

Of course at the end of the day it benefits him also when we rake in all these gorgeous veggies....after all, I create some wonderful meals for us out of all this beautiful produce!!

I would like to hang a cute sign on the garden gate....I'm just not sure what just yet. 

Is it wrong that we haven't even celebrated the holidays yet and I'm already looking forward to spring? 

Enjoy your weekend, friends!!


  1. That's a very clever and ingenious rescue that he looks great! And you are right...if he wants to eat your tomato sauce he's got to help save the tomatoes :)

    1. You're darned right, Deb - he's got to help save the garden if he wants to reap the benefits!! He's a smart man....I have no doubt he knows that!

  2. Your veggies look wonderful! So do the repairs made to your garden area!

    1. Thanks so much!!It's amazing how much produce came out of that tiny garden - just incredible. I have preserved so much of the harvest that will be enjoyed throughout the winter - that, to me, is one of the most wonderful things about growing my own veggies. Preparing a meal in my warm cozy kitchen on a snowy evening using something I grew in my own organic garden over the summer...such an incredible feeling of accomplishment. It's the little things, you know?

  3. You could put Mountain Mama's Garden on a sign on the gate. Now it's fenced. you'll keep critters (and hopefully straying bears) out of there!

    1. Hi Brenda! Yes, now the fence is much sturdier and will hopefully keep more of the critters out of the garden - I doubt it would stop Mr Bear if he really wants to get in, though!

  4. Wow that looks so much better! I like signs that say "welcome to my garden" and "secret garden"

    1. I like Secret Garden but I'm not sure it's quite right yet. I'll think on it for a while and something will come to me before spring!

  5. Wow that looks so much better! I like signs that say "welcome to my garden" and "secret garden"

  6. It's so nice to have a handy guy around the house. If he's sweet and cute to boot, that's a whole other dimension of nice. :-) It looks wonderful!

    1. You are so right, Mimi - and he most definitely is both sweet and super cute!! I'm a lucky woman!

  7. Stop the presses! You grew all those veggies! You could start a farm stand woman! And you have a garlic patch? Now THERE'S the New Yawk *I* talian I've been waiting for ;).

    (Good thing I checked before hitting publish. Auto correct turned Italian to Taliban! Yikes!)

    P.S. I kinda like the arbor crooked. There's a story there.

    1. Ha ha there were a ton more veggies than that, Doreen - that was just the final harvest before the first hard frost!! And funny thing....even though I'm always cooking Italian food - I'm Irish, through and through!! 100%!! I just love good Italian food!

  8. Your Mountain side garden is precious and what a great producer it was too, and each year it will get better and better. You have such a green thumb, and gardeners are always the sweetest of folks!

    1. Thank you, Jemma! I really do love to garden...if only I had a little more time to play in the dirt I'd be the happiest woman! Heading out to do some garden chores right now. Enjoy this glorious day!


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