Introductions and a Misfired Art District

I’d like to introduce you to my new, crazy backyard project. Back in March, I committed to replacing my little flock of container gardens with one big raised bed. I’d been contemplating it for quite a while, but couldn’t bring myself to replace something that was working pretty well already. But then casual shopping for wall stones turned to buying them…and who really wanted to do housework, anyway. I’ve got a project to complete outdoors!

Here’s a before photo from last summer:

garden

I started the new bed by arranging a wall of blocks three high and in an organic shape. I used a variety of the different sizes of stone available and incorporated some bricks and brick chunks that I’d pulled out of my yard. The last snow of the year highlighted the outline beautifully. Perhaps you noticed it in this photo I posted previously:

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To that I added soil. I debated about putting gravel at the bottom for drainage, but after reading a book about gardening on concrete, I opted to mix “garden soil” and higher quality “potting soil” with course sand to make a really rich soil that will (hopefully) drain perfectly.

now with more dirt

I treated myself to some sedums for the corner and cracks. After hauling all those stones and all that dirt, it felt like I deserved a little extra something.

sedums

I went crazy planting the new bed and the plants absolutely LOVE the super fancy potting soil, so they’re growing happily. I’ve got Asian greens, collards, cilantro, arugula, and salad mix. I don’t know how John and I are going to eat it all! I also planted two melons and a cucumber last weekend. Those are all things I had successfully grown in containers, but now I’m ready to branch out. I planted corn on Sunday. I’m trying not to get my hopes too high, but, you know, jade blue corn!

growth

collards

Meanwhile, I noticed that the paint on my blackberry trellis was really starting to flake off, so I repainted. I had fun picking some new colors. At the home improvement store, a section of Paint Samples for Hipsters caught my eye. It was the color options that first drew me in, but it was the color names that got me to buy them.

There was a nice red called “Art District”.

Ha Ha, I thought. How pretentious. And ironic. And silly. And then how ironic is it if I get some to paint my crazy, artsy, poorly built, blackberry trellis in my back yard in Evansville’s trying-so-hard-to-be Haynie’s Corner Arts District. There have been years of trying to make it catch on.

I picked out several more hipster colors to go with Art District. I freely admit that I picked them as much for their names as for their hues. Then I requested sample sizes from the paint counter. When I came back to pick them up, the paint guy had bad news for me. For some reason, the red pigment squirter wasn’t working at all. He explained that every time he tried to get Art District, it misfired. Ironically.

Here’s my hipster paint poem that I composed from the other colors that didn’t misfire:

hipster colorsAnd here’s my hipster-ized trellis. It’s much more subtle than before:

freshened blackberry trellis

I got to meet one of our new neighbors while I was painting it, too. She was happy to meet me because she’d noticed something glittering in my back yard one day and when she looked more closely she realized all the other art I’ve got out. She said she really liked my garden and wished she could do more in her yard.

And a word of wisdom: Always work on a outdoor project when your neighbor’s lilac tree is in bloom. AND you get bonus points if another neighbor is cooking up a way above average barbeque. The alternating scents were fabulous.

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