Since buying our house, one of my goals has been to create a garden. It's taken some time, assessing potential deer damage, figuring out how to work it into the space, and watching for the best light.
Finally, almost three years later, I came up with a way of incorporating planter boxes into the hillside, and using some other spaces, too.
The wine barrel we got from a local winery last year got cut in half. My Charles and I used the circular saw. We snapped off a straight line around the middle of the barrel. Then he held the saw as I slowly rolled it, on its side, toward him. The method worked pretty well.
The boxes were constructed from the leftover wood from our old stairs. I salvaged pieces that weren't too damaged.
Then I screwed in small pieces at the inside corners for stability. Next, I attached the the corners of the wood together. (Did I mention I used salvaged screws from the old stairs, too?) Finally, I attached corner brackets to make sure everything stayed strong and connected.
The hardest part of the whole project was actually getting the open-backed boxes to fit on the hillside properly. It required a lot of digging, positioning, and more digging until I was finally able to get the box level.
Once the boxes were level, I drove some rebar into the ground at the front of each planter, further stabilizing the box since I knew the earth was going to be HEAVY, and since I was incorporating the boxes into the hillside, gravity was not going to act as a friend.
Originally, I had planned for three planters, but due to the shape of the hillside, I ended up only creating two. The planter shown above is huge, so I think it will be the main, large vegetable box.
The second planter will hold lettuce and herbs -- all of those awesome leafy greens. Yesterday morning was spent shoveling a special veggie-mix compost into the boxes, and some starts were planted. I'm planning on finishing the planting today and stretching netting over the boxes to keep the deer out.
The front yard is starting to come together. Where the stairs used to be are now graduated planting areas sporting daffodils and the sprouts of wildflowers. Half of the wine barrel is going to be a planter for a small chaste tree. The other half will be a solar powered fountain. My veggie garden is finally underway, and the whole area should be mulched soon. Now I just need to get that clothesline built...
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