Update #1: Garden Plots

Hey hey team, welcome back!

One thing I’m particularly excited about is that the PB House sits on six acres of land. Sure, most of it is some kind of conservation land that is totally impassable once the wetland plant life grows up over the summer, BUT there is still plenty of space for us to play around–and that means gardening!

The historical section of the house has a series of gorgeous garden beds in the front yard, so Rio’s only responsibility over there is mowing the lawn.

The gardens are cool though!! They’re a traditional herb and dye garden maintained by the North Andover Garden Club. I’m excited to see what they look like, and if you’re interested, you can see more about them here.

The back of the house (where we’ll live) technically had two garden plots set up, but…. they were not in great shape. So that’s been my first project since we got the keys.

The first plot is located down the hill a way from the house and it was only recognizable as a garden plot because it wasn’t covered by grass.

I’ve seen worse (the other garden plot, for example), but it wasn’t a quick fix.

I got to rake up at least one season worth of leaves, tear out A TON of weeds (including a truly horrific thorny one that burrowed into the ground with its branches?), and then excavate and pull out all the rotting boards to replace them with new ones. By the end of the first day, it *was* looking better, but … still not ideal.

Once I’d removed the leaves, I got to get rid of this stuff.
The boards probably *could* have lasted another season before returning to the earth, but I thought it would be nice to start with something new.

The next day we hit up Home Depot for some 2 x 4s and soil, and we went back to work fixing up Plot #1. This meant taking out the black ground cover and adding a layer of top soil while Rio cut and nailed the boards together.

It all came together surprisingly quickly, so I got to celebrate by planting a few early weather seeds, too! Hopefully we’ll have something to show for that in a few weeks once they make their way out of the ground again.

End of Day 1: feat. free onion!
Day 2: Look at that handsome builder!
End of Day 2: Tah-dah!
Here’s a check in from today (about a week later).

So that brings us to Plot #2, which was even more of a hopeless pile than the first plot. This one was located right up against the house and seems to have come with some free, yet unidentified shrubs.

If the first plot had more than one season of leaves covering it, this one had more than four. The more I raked, the more leaves turned up! It got kinda gross.

Also, the degraded black ground material in this garden was also under the soil, so most of it is probably still under there, but I tore out a lot of it.

Next I tore out a plastic garden border that had been mostly consumed by shrubs.

Our historical society supervisor pointed out that he hadn’t even realized this was supposed to be a garden. I completely understand why.

Post leaves/plastic/actual garbage removal, we put in some new boards to line the plot, and then added a layer of top soil.

…So more raking. Yaaaay. But it turned out pretty well!

We’re still missing a little bit of the border (actually, really what we’re missing is a second step to the door), but Rio thinks he can get a nice piece of scrap wood to finish outlining the garden plot.

As you can see, there are 5 mystery shrubs which are starting to bloom. I’m kind of looking forward to figuring out what those are.

And once the weather is a little more predictable (did I mention that it SNOWED on Friday? April SIXTEENTH), I can plant some herb starters here, so we’ll have a small herb garden right outside our kitchen.

And there you have it! One project down… some 15… 20(?)… or so to go.

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