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Thursday, June 23, 2011


Remember when I alluded a while back to some major garden projects? There are plenty more in sight, but I'm happy to say that one is almost accomplished: the creation of a new and bigger garden bed. Using...Urbanite! Last fall, I scored some to build the beds with. In case you're not familiar with that term (I wasn't), it refers to the flat, broken-up pieces of concrete that can be salvaged after sidewalks and driveways are torn up. It makes very good retaining walls, as long as they are under 4 feet. It's important to angle the blocks properly for stability (I had 11 stitches last fall after pulling one backward onto my shin--ouch!). I love the repurposing of materials that might otherwise end up in the dump, and a well-made urbanite wall looks really nice. The trick is to have larger slabs for the top, so that you can sit on the wall.

I liberated the scraggly lavender bushes, buried under weeds, in the existing bed. Then I started enlarging it by building up a layer of wall, dumping down fill dirt, adding another layer of blocks, more dirt, etc. Finally, good compost on top.  I'm thinking this area may become a garlic bed in September.

Most of these chunks came from a neighbor who had a bunch in his backyard. Minou and I borrowed a truck and spent an (ahem) semi-enjoyable afternoon hauling it home. We heard about the available urbanite from other neighbors who had a pile in their driveway that sat there for a long time. It then sat in our driveway for months before I finally started the project (we said no to a number of people who asked if they could have it). As I think I've said before, projects do seem to take us a while. In fact, it's one of Minou's mantras. But that's okay. As long as I keep an intention clear in my mind, I know that someday I'll get to it.

Helping with the project by spreading good cheer... a happy boy and his happy dog.

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