After wandering around our neighborhood peering into everyone else's gardens and yards, I realized a few things.
- Our garden looks REALLY great.
- It actually looks like we know what we're doing.
- We need a brick or stone path.
About the pathway idea... Lauren and I came up with a grand design one afternoon. It would be pretty, winding thru the garden, birds chirping in the background, an iron table where we can sit and have tea in the afternoon wearing a big straw hat. I put a "wanted" ad on freecycle. "Wanted: Bricks or Stones for our Garden." No one responded.
Meanwhile, I talked myself out of the idea after reading about the whole "process" of laying a brick pathway or any kind of pathway for that matter. What with all the digging, leveling, and measuring, not to mention bringing in sand to fill in gaps... not really the way I do things.
But, two days later, someone posted, "Offered: 2 piles of Bricks from Back Yard Project." My ADHD brain fired off in a million directions. Maybe I Could do a pathway or perhaps just the "entrance" to the garden or make a raised bed around the big tree or maybe just line the beds with bricks so they look sorta like proper beds.
Hesitantly, I mentioned to Tigg that just maybe I might get some bricks and I could do it all myself. Or, If I made a really good dinner, would he just, one more time, go wandering around town to pick up free stuff. The amazing guy that he is, he said he'd help me load the bricks if we could get beer & pizza. Done.
We headed up to North Portland to find the house about 10 minutes from ours. This is always the nervous part about freecycle or craigslist. I've watched one too many Criminal Minds episodes. You just never know who you could run into. Anyway, I digress. But I am totally relieved that Tigg is with me, just in case, and that the people who come to the door, pizza in hand, look totally normal and nice, just like us.
He shows us to the side of the house where 2 huge piles of bricks sit. We load up most of one pile. And it seems like a Ton of Bricks (that saying has literal meaning to me for the first time). The back of the Pilot is now loaded with bricks, sitting on a tarp, on top of an upside-down table, legs removed for transport, found via freecycle the day before, to be used by our renters next door who have no table. And, No, I am not a freecycle whore... I've given away lots of stuff, too. Really!
By the time we get home, we're tired and hungry and it's nearly dark. Pizza is had by all and we're off to bed. Getting to and from school was a bit of a challenge with the kids and the bricks the next few days... it required an unsafe driving experience. I get the bad mom award for that one but in my defense, we live like 2 minutes from the school
Finally, two days later, I am inspired to get a move on the bricks. I started at 10am and worked till 2:30pm. First, dug out along one of the beds and created this intricate pattern of three bricks one way, then three the other, then repeat. But, after laying 9 bricks, I got bored and realized that wasn't the way to go... too much work. Leaving those as they were, I moved to another bed and ruffled up a little dirt along the edge and laid a line of bricks. It looked nice, was easy enough and didn't take nearly as much time as the whole pattern idea.
After finishing the first bed, I once again recognized why math and measuring is important. It really is difficult to get a straight line. Oh, well. I moved things around a bit so it was straightish. Then, found the big level in the garage, using it as a ruler and guide so at least the lines down the long sides of the beds matched up to the lines at the short ends. The 2nd bed looked much neater and straighter. The 3rd was ok. By the 4th, I was bored and went back to eyeballing the whole thing... it looks very similar to the 1st. I quit halfway thru the 4th bed because I my hands were aching and swollen.
I finished the 4th bed and the new little bed the next afternoon with Tigg standing by, providing beverages and conversation so I didn't get bored and give up entirely. By the way, a ton of bricks looks and feels like a lot when you have loaded them and unloaded them. But, really it was exactly enough to line 4 beds that are about 4 x10 plus one new bed about 2 x 2. Had to add a new one for the green pepper.
So, was it worth it? You be the judge:
|#2 Peas, Carrots, Beans|
|#3 Strawberries & Spinach|
|Thank you, Sun, for showing up!|
|New Bed for Green Peppers|