Back in Nashville, Javier spent an immense amount of time and effort building up our garden from summer 2011 after we moved in right up until fall 2015 when we moved away. Every year he’d add a raised bed and fence it all in again with chicken wire. He’d come home from work or class every day in the spring, summer, and fall and water the plants while the dogs would chase each other around the backyard with glee celebrating his return. We had a flourishing bed of strawberries, and the raspberries were JUST starting to produce when we had to leave them. I had a bed specifically for zinnias and other bouquet-type flowers. It was a truly amazing oasis in our giant Nashville backyard, and I have *missed it.*
When we moved to Louisville, we had a vague feeling that we wouldn’t stay in our first house for too long. We didn’t really know what that meant time-wise, but Javi was hesitant to go all-out in building up a new garden only to have to abandon it again. Still, it really didn’t feel like home without any kind of garden in place, so Javi added a couple of quick raised beds to the backyard last fall. He planted beets, radishes, and lettuce this past spring, and we harvested all of it just in time to wash it and eat it in our new house.
When we moved into our new house in May, Javi immediately put the plan for a permanent garden into motion. He saved the majority of the picket fence that we replaced with privacy fence back in June so that he could fence the garden in with something a little stronger than chicken wire. The fence even had a gate that he was able to repurpose for the garden entrance. It’s *exactly* the right size!
Rather than buying cedar for the raised beds, Javier opted for pine to save a little money. He then charred the wood using a torch, which is supposed to help seal the wood and protect it from weather and bugs. We haven’t tried this technique before; it’s a Japanese method called Shou Sugi Ban. We’ll see how it works!
Once all of the beds were charred, assembled, and placed inside the fence, I put in a call to a local soil company. They brought a dump truck with five cubic yards of soil to our driveway – the exact amount we needed to fill the beds to the brim. I’m not used to sitting around and watching while Javier does all of the work, but being 38 weeks pregnant meant that my major contribution in all of this was to make the call and payment. Javi loaded dozens of wheel barrels full of soil and hauled them into the garden one by one until the beds were completely ready!
We also bought several bags of mulch from Home Depot and spread that around the pathways in between the beds so that Javi won’t have to mow the grass in there. The end result looks SO great! We aren’t procrastinating with ANYTHING these days since Penny can arrive at any time, so we went ahead and planted all of our fall veggie seeds as soon as the soil was in place. Hopefully in a couple of months we will have two different kinds of lettuce, spinach, beets, and radishes for home-grown salads!
It’s a wonderful feeling to have the garden in place and ready for years of growth. We are going to have so much fun teaching Penelope about gardening and the earth and all that it can produce if you treat it well. And…now that we have the seeds in place, Javier comes home and goes straight to watering, and everything feels right in the world. Just another step toward making this house feel like the perfect home.