The Before and After Garden

I never did show you what the "garden" looked like when we bought the place, did I?  Well, here you go:
As you can see it had mostly been a dumping ground for grass clippings and yard debris.    The bushes along the back fence were so overgrown the path along that edge of the garden was impassible.  The whole area was fenced off completely from the rest of the yard... with no gate... because the previous owner apparently had no need to get in there easily.  He'd had a dog to keep out of there though.   Speaking of, the garden was surrounded with dog waste, too.  It wasn't a pretty sight (or smell, really), but you could tell it had potential.

So, we raked up the poo. Matt ruthlessly thinned the shrubs and piled all that grass and all the dead leaves into an impressive compost pile.  We measured paths and laid bricks to define the beds.  We took the fence down, allowing the garden to open up to the rest of yard.  Derek came over and helped double-dig.   Seeds were sown and things started to grow.  And to look good!  (The rejuvenation of Spring probably helped it start to look good as much as our efforts.)
Half-way cleaned up.
Matt showing off the walkability of the path after the brush pruning.
There is still much to be done, as there probably always will be.  The ditch north of us hasn't been filled yet so we still are waiting to figure out our irrigation system (the white pipes visible in nearly all the photos).    We want to add a small sitting area on the grass on the west side of the vegetable bed, under the shady tree (left in photo below) where we can watch the birds and have dinner on evenings too warm to stay inside.  We're hoping to build cold-frames by fall.  We want to extend all the beds out into the center of the yard where the sun is most consistent.  Lots of dreams and plans still in store for the space.
But, its coming along nicely I'd say.


  1. You two have created a wonderful garden space!

  2. It sure is... looking GREAT! And imagine all that goodness is now right outside your back door.

  3. Everything looks amazing I can't wait to see it all in person! You guys are doing a great job and I knew you would have the best garden around. Cheers to you both! Have a great weekend.

  4. All I can say is wow! You guys have worked incredibly hard and it looks pretty impressive. No doubt you will soon be enjoying lots of home grown vegies to make all that hard work pay off.

  5. That is an amazing difference! I can tell Matt has put in lots of hard work and planning.

    Be careful about filling in a ditch. It could be there for a purpose. My neighbor behind me and at a lower level started "fixing" things in her yard and created a mess. She made a river into her house. She had to dig two feet below to the foundation of her outhouse to keep water out of it. She was determined then that she was going to keep drainage from my yard out of hers. So, I have a semi-swamp at times. It all started with one little adjustment. Subsequent homeowners keep fiddling and digging.

    1. I meant the ditch filling with water, not being filled in. Our house came with ditch rights so that we can get essentially all the water we need for the summer for $10-15. Though some of the larger ditches have been filled ours has not yet. The neighbor was telling me she expects it any day though. We are really excited about this because it should really keep cost down in the garden for water.

      Unfortunate that your neighbor did some tinkering like that though....

  6. Thanks so much everyone! It was a lot of work, but it was (and is) totally worthwhile. And I imagine that it will only continue to get improved upon over the years. We are quite pleased with things!


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