Thursday, May 8, 2014

From flood to drought

It's hot, hot, way too hot for May.

My peas are drooping and the lettuce is burning up. Poor things. Last year I was slogging around in rubber boots in ankle-deep water and this year I'm watering soil so dry it cracked. Except for that four inches of rain we got in one night which flooded the garden.

I am sooo glad I went to raised beds. Even with that, a couple of them were coated in mud (and the patio and the porch). I lost some beet seedlings and maybe some napa cabbage. I wasn't sure if they had come up yet. This year was the easiest for prep that I've ever had. Weeded, tossed in some compost and voila! the beds were ready. Love it.

So I thought I would be ahead of things. Then I decided to tackle the stairs. I didn't anchor them properly the first time and they were always shifting and slipping. We were going to hire someone, but that turned out to be way out of the budget. I can see why. All the digging and hauling, it's very time consuming. But I'm working my muscles, and that's always good. Just wish it wasn't so blasted hot.

Previous incarnation of the steps.
My great-great grandfather was a stone-cutter, so maybe it's in the blood. I am doing a much bigger job of it this time. Which I think will be the third or fourth time I've built these damn things. There were 19 steps to the top of the hill where the rest of the backyard is level. I call it the terrace. The steps are turning out great. I made them deeper, and less tall which will make for more steps in the long run. I will need to redesign the plantings along the side. It's a lot of work. But it'll look so nice when it's all done.

And then I can finally carry the lawn mower up to the terrace, which hasn't been mowed since June of last year. Ugh.

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