Time for a garden update! I've been working in fits and starts out in the garden, and have made some slow, slog-y progress. It's enjoyable in that way that hard work is satisfying, though it's a little frustrating because as much as I wanted this to be a family project, it's just not yet. This probably won't be a surprise to anyone but my dumb ass, but grunt-work gardening is just not a good fit for a two-year-old. I tried letting Nico hang out with me in the garden last Monday while I worked, and he spent his time asking for my adult-sized shovel (over and over), dumping out a pot of strawberry sprouts while my back was turned, tripping over stuff, and (once I relented and let him pick up my shovel) knocking bricks off the raised bed as I was trying to build it.
In exasperation, I finally set him on the outside of the fence so I could finish the last bit of the raised bed across the back of the garden, only to have him stand there sobbing "Come inside! I come inside!" while I worked. I thought to myself, This is stupid. This was supposed to be our project together, not something I do while he gets excluded and cries. We ended up going inside, having a snack, doing a craft, and taking a nap. I went back out later once MB was home to keep Nico entertained and got the dirt in the big raised bed. That evening I also I planted three tomato sprouts (a gift from evilducky) in the far right section and bean and pea seeds in one half of the center section. I also covered the previously-planted strawberry bed with straw. Eight of the original nine plants have survived so far. Since then, two of the tomato plants haven't been doing so well, but one looks good. We'll see how it turns out, I guess.
Some pictures of the work that was done before today:
original raised bed cleaned out for strawberries
pile of free bricks, waiting to have the mortar chipped off
awesome little wheelbarrow, scored on freecycle
hosta plants as big as Nico, with an annoying proclivity for crowding the sidewalk all summer long
leaves hacked off so I could get to the base of the gargantuan hosta to dig it up
Hosta relocated to side-yard landscaping. The second unruly plant was gifted to J-Dog. If you hear later about a hosta eating Chicago, please know that I was in no way involved.
Strawberry plants in the ground with blueberry bushes in front (a gift from J-Dog). Two days later, one strawberry plant had apparently been eaten and I spent 45 minutes installing a makeshift fence to keep rabbits out of the garden.
big mess on the left side; Lab mix for scale
brush cleared out to make space for the raised bed extension
attempt at rabbit-proofing the corner
Though it's official nickname is -- deservedly -- the world's ugliest garden, it's also quickly becoming the Garden That Free Shit Built. So far all the bricks, the fence wire, the blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and the tomatoes have been gifts or obtained through freecycle / craigslist. This allows us to stretch our not-huge garden budget a lot further and to feel like smug hippie recyclers. Hooray!