It must be as I’m getting older, but the busier my head gets, the more I crave neatness and order. There is a solid half of me that thrives in wildness, that even feels inspired by it, and yet there is a solid and loud half of me that goes a little batty when I see chaos. This is displayed in consistent mass purges (took 8+ bags to the thrift store the other day and already filled up three more) and and a real affection for putting my Felco pruners to good use in the garden.
When we first moved in we knew we needed a new deck, but we put a band-aid fix on it. We replaced just a couple of key boards that would help hold up the rest of the dry rotted boards about 3 years we figured. Our 3 year mark of living here is coming up this month (yikes!) and we knew we had to replace our deck. As house projects go ‘simply replacing the deck’ started a domino effect that became a very involved and intricate project involving moving doors, replacing siding, taking out bushes and pouring a new cement patio.
This project, we realized, is really the first project that we’ve created sort of from scratch. Though we’re using the same footprint of what was here, we had a lot of creative play with what materials and colors and slight design details we chose. And oh, what a laborious project freedom of choice can entail. We bickered and laughed and grew closer and almost strangled each other until we came up with our final game plan.
And this, what you see before you, is one half of it. Neat, straight, tidy. We cleared the shrubs, straightened out curved lines and laid landscape cloth, all drawn up on graph paper with mechanical pencils. We even hired two different contractors. This method of building something is all new to us; hob nob, rag tag, cobbled together DIYers. We feel very grown up.
As you can see we added two raised beds. We’ve missed them. We used to garden in them exclusively, but now we grow our veggies straight in the ground which comes with a fair amount of challenges we’ve never faced before. In effort to make gardening ‘simple’ again, we put in these two beds close to our back door to house things we’d like to grab quickly like lettuce, basil & parsley to name a few. As you can see we used stock tanks which conveniently come with a drainage hole at the bottom that irrigation fits right into. We also drilled a few holes in the bottom for drainage and filled it with compost, potting mix and good ol’ Sonoma dirt.
If I were to turn right around and show you what was behind us you might screech at the sight, it’s a total deck debacle. But in just a few weeks time, it’s going to look fantastic. And all of this immediate order, this direct view out my window, will hopefully bring calmness of mind to my scatterbrained self, so that I may venture peacefully further out into the inspiring wildness.