This is when the professionals step forward and fix our backyard problems, right? Wrong. This make-over is being undertaken by two amateurs. What problems are we talking about? Not that many really except that we wanted a garden and there wasn't a spot in our yard that received enough sunlight.
Our solution, after discussing all options, was to cut down the apple tree. The apples weren't worth saving - they never ripened on the tree, instead falling off the tree before they were ripe. The hard part was giving up the shade.
Here's a before picture, taken in 2005.
The tree in question is NOT the one holding up the hammock and Candleman, but the one in the back corner that is hard to see because it's blocked by the Linden, but you can see that it's been a fixture of the yard for years (over 25).
As I look at this picture I notice many changes we had made before cutting down the apple tree. The bridal wreath bush and lilac bush on the left side are gone.
Let's jump ahead nearly 4 years to this spring. This picture certainly doesn't look as green and inviting as the first picture. Keep in mind this is the start of spring, leaves aren't out on the trees and, well, the apple tree is gone. You can barely see the stump in the lower right hand corner. The green cage thing is one of four that Candleman set up for the compost. Just to the left of Candleman's leg is our little weeping cherry tree. (it's mentioned in the post above)
Below is Candleman with his helper Megan and her mother Jen (Jeff is in school). They are unloading the squares that will make a nice walkway between the garden boxes.
As of this writing, all three boxes have been assembled and put in place, along with a wooden frame under each box and a plywood aisle between the gardens. These will later be covered with the stone blocks from above.
In the picture below, Candleman and John are working on a watering sytem that Candleman designed to make watering easier on me. I will only have to snap the hose on a pipe on the corner of one box and it will send water to soaker hoses laid out in all three boxes. I love it! Thank-you, Candleman, you are truly amazing!
Here's a picture I took 2 days ago that shows our 3 boxes filled with amazing soil - a mixture of perlite, peat moss and compost. Candleman has been very busy the last week. The box on the left sits right on top of where the apple tree was.
Things that still remain to be done: attach the soaker hoses to the water pipe and arrange them on top of the soil, lay the cement blocks, plant the veggies (fun part!) and mow the lawn.
Whoops, almost forgot - the soil in our already existing square gardens needs to be ammended before we can plant veggies there. Hopefully, we get it all done this Tuesday on Candleman's day off.
Finally, a picture of the compost heap. He used a lot in the gardens. The rest will go to amend the little square gardens and all the flower beds. I've already added some to new flowers I've planted, but the rest of the garden soil is very pathetic. Hopefully, the added compost will help the flowers grow prettier.