Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Hi! Tired of my puppy yet? I'm not. He's a big baby as you can see:
Our last dog (Max) of similar mix would NOT let me hold him like this. Eiger is a mellow (for a Lab puppy), sweet dog who is very attached to his human mother (I did nothing on purpose to encourage this in spite of the photo op). This is good and bad - depends on who you ask and how many times I've tripped over him in the kitchen. We are working on staying "on the rug" while I'm in the kitchen. He prefers the mat under the kitchen sink. Go figure.
My birthday and our anniversary fall in the same week and this year we were able to get away for a night in Napa. I convinced my Dad to come stay with the girls. He asked if he had a choice. Hahahaaaa..... Thanks Dad! He chose to come a few days early to get started on a project we had talked about since we bought the house.
Long ago when we lived in San Ramon and had our first house, I focused my garden on flowers and a couple berry plants on the side. I wanted more of a veggie garden but working full time and then having new babies didn't really allow much time. Then we moved to Iowa and had to spend our limited budget on actual landscaping vs garden plots. There was a house I would drive by every couple of days that had beautiful garden plots in their backyard - easy to see as few houses have fenced yards in that part of the country. I finally had a garden bed made in Switzerland and enjoyed a couple years of corn, green beans and zucchini - weather took it's toll the last full summer we were there and we didn't have much of anything except the green beans which are pretty hardy with low sun/cool weather.
With the move, I had a summer off but in looking at the new backyard and surroundings, I knew I needed some veggie garden beds/boxes. My dad built his and I wasn't going to ask but then when he drew out such nice plans I said "you're hired! If you're willing to take the job?" He said he'd do it and his own sense of timing coincided with our weekend away. He showed up with tools and equipment and after some trips to Home Depot, we (he) went to work. May I quickly interject - Don't go to Home Depot shopping for lumber with my dad 1 hours before school pick-up. You will not get back in time. Deaf ears, deaf ears........ :) Fortunately I have big kids and a neighbor with a key!
He first had to dig around the rock-hard clay to find our where the water lines were. None were broken in the construction of these boxes - of which 14" of the posts are cemented below ground level. Checking a frame:
Rachel is stylishly working the post-hole digger:
Rachel helped Dad out quite a bit. She helped him move the frames, dig holes, level the boxes and how to use some very useful tools.
The boxes are finished and ready to be set in:
Taking a break with Eiger before the fun starts:
We (yes, we all helped move the finished product as they were a bit heavy) moved the boxes into the holes and dad and Rach worked on leveling them before the concrete was poured.
Kendra joined in on the concrete - she pretty much left the rest of the project alone!
The finished product!
I just had them filled with dirt yesterday and look forward to seeing what veggie fun we'll have this summer. Are you wondering why they resemble covered wagons a bit? I'll put netting over the beds to keep the turkeys out! Steel mesh lines the bottoms to keep the ground squirrels and gophers out. We shall see, we shall see......
I'm looking forward to another good year.


MomE said...

I am so jealous, not the birthday or the puppy.....industrial garden boxes! Awesome, good job!

Linds said...

Happy Birthday, Susan! And wow - your Dad did a wonderful job on your new beds. They look totally professional, and I rather like the idea of wagons anyway! I am looking forward to seeing them fill up and overflow with vegetable goodness. I suspect he may be back next year to add to the wagon train!

Susan said...

Great to see you in my Reader. I love your doggy! And the garden boxes are amazing. Wagons ho! And may the turkeys stay away.

Judy said...

Happy Birthday (a few days late) and happy gardening!!