Tuesday, September 11

Building Raised Flowerbeds

This weekend I started out my Saturday (after sleeping in of course) with a trip to Lowe's. I shelled out big bucks to buy some weedkiller, post caps for my deck and landscape timbers. The timbers were the main reason for the excursion since the weekend project was a flowerbed!
Carrying the timbers from the truck.
We started out by deciding on the dimensions of the flowerbed, then had to dig a small trench for the first timbers do lay in. We definitely made use of a level multiple times during this step since the ground needed to be level in order for the first timbers to be level.

Tools used for this project: level, hoe, shovel, hammer, saw and drill.

We also had to deal with the ground sloping. Remember those stones I dug up in the sideyard? Well I still have them although I wasn't sure what I would use the broken ones for. Apparently the answer is a flowerbed! We used the broken stones to help level out the ground.

Once we had the first set of timbers in place it was really only a matter of cutting the additional timbers to size, stacking them in place and making sure they line up properly. Once we had all the timbers in place we drilled holes in the corners and a couple strategic spots and slid rebar through the holes. Then we hammered the rebar into the ground. That way the timbers aren't knocked out of place.

The project is pretty simple if you have access to power tools (and know how to use them). Using a power saw or drill on my own would have made me nervous if I was working by myself. And to be honest I'm not generally patient enough to find the exact measurements like my dad does. And with this kind of project that type of detail is important.

I think one flowerbed took us about 3 hours total. I'm building another one at the end of my deck and I also plan to build one around the maple in my backyard and possibly a bed in the back corner for veggies and such. The vegetable bed is still in question because it would have to be built over the gas main. Ever since the debacle with ONG a few years ago I'm hesitant to invest much effort into beautifying (or building) along my back fence. I'd hate to build a vegetable garden in that corner (the only one with enough sun) only to have ONG come tear it out unexpectedly. But maybe. I already planted blackberries back there.

I'm adding the flowerbeds to help dress up some of the areas in my yard that have just looked unkempt for a while. For instance, here's a shot of the area before we built the flowerbed.
The grass hasn't gotten going in this area and so far it's just been rocky dirt. Now that the deck is mostly done I wanted to add some visual appeal to the wall. I'm planning to plant azaleas or oakleaf hydrangeas here once our weather cools off. I'm not planting anything until the end of the summer. I've had a 60/40 survival rate--with 60% of everything I plant dying.

In other news, check out the visitor we've had. I guess he's decided that Ollie's outdoor water container is too convenient to pass up.
Where's the water?
Oh! Here's some!
I think someone's watching me...

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