We do not have a lot of money around here, since our poor tenants have yet to make their January rent, let alone the February. But what we lack in funds we make up for in energy.
The sun came out and the glaciers around the place melted. The mulch piles at the City and here melted, so did our dirt piles. We got out in the weak winter sun and placed a few more rocks and a whole bunch of cardboard. Then we proceeded to move dirt to fill in the new bed. Remember how this area looked a few days ago?
That photo was taken before we had even lined the rock wall with newspaper and old magazines. You can see that there is a pile of dirt to the south of the driftwood. That is soil that Jim ran through a sieve to get the bermuda and crab grass roots out of. There is also a pile of mulch behind it. It is on a large piece of cardboard so it won’t get all mixed up with the lawn. You can also see the pieces of sod we dug out of the trench that outlines the bed. Eventually, all those got tossed into the bed outlined by rock.
When we had moved the whole pile that used to be south of the driftwood, Jim started moving the dirt we created out behind the rock pile using the manure pile from a dairy and the wood chips from all the small elm branches that came down in the ice storm two years ago.
This next photo is the same area at the same stage as above, but taken from the northwest end of the horse shoe bed. A lot of work has been done here. The trench that raises the bed from the lawn has been lined with cardboard or feed sacks and then filled with rocks. The layer of cardboard effectively blocks out all the light from the roots of the grass that is within the bed. I use huge pieces of cardboard that used to be appliance crates that Jim brings me from the dumpster behind the appliance dealer. Then we put about four inches of mulch on top of the cardboard layer. This is how it looks after we did all of that.
If you walk along the path and then look back at this bed, you can see the bed behind all ready for the mulch layer. An incredible amount of work went on before we sealed that bed down, including moving the entire dirt pile that used to be south of the driftwood. That was not nearly enough dirt to level the bed inside the rock retaining walls, so Jim hauled about five wheelbarrow loads of dirt from the pile we created out behind the sauna with the chipped up elms from the ice storm and a bunch of manure. I distributed the loose dirt he was hauling over the bed using the rake and a shovel. Once it was relatively level, I bent all the card board and feed sacks that lined the bed over onto the dirt, and sealed it down with the large pieces of appliance boxes.
It was blowing up a gale while we were doing that part, so we weighted the cardboard down with rocks. Then I went off to do a couple of massages and Jim hauled a couple of pickup loads of mulch from the City Public Works piles, and began to fill in on top of the cardboard. This is how it looked when it was well started.
And, after more mulching and smoothing, the finished product. Notice the area just to the left (south) of the driftwood. It already has a beginning on the cardboard cover. Notice here that the trench changes from finished and filled with mulch to still needing its cardboard lining and the rocks.
Now, honestly. Isn’t that something? I see this as a canvas upon which we shall paint with plants.
And so, our days work over, the sun went down in a blaze of glory that we were almost too tired to enjoy.
We are both still sore. Thank goodness there is a sauna tonight. We will enjoy hanging out with our friends and baking the aches out of our muscles. Then maybe we’ll have energy to work on the rest of the bed tomorrow.