My Big Fat Garden Project

It’s Independence Day! And I’m just going to brag on my garden a little.

Our little household will never be able to get off the food grid entirely (can’t grow rice in the Boston suburbs! No room for the spaghetti trees!) but we’ve been getting better at it every year.

Let me describe our layout. We live on the side of a hill. 47 steps lead from street level to our front door. When we bought the house, the front yard was a very steep slope, covered with weeds and debris. There is a garage at street level, inset into the hill. When we bought the house, the garage had a peaked roof in wretched condition.

I started a garden four years ago. It took a lot of work. The weeds and debris had to go — and individual planting beds had to be made out of rock, rubble, and concrete. I mastered the technique of building a leaky stone structure (dig shallow ditch & fill with gravel; plop rocks and rubble on top of gravel; slap concrete on top of rocks and rubble; allow to dry; add more rocks and rubble; add more concrete; repeat until you’re at the height you want, then add soil) and at this point have fifteen or sixteen fully operational planting beds in my front yard.

My front yard during the off-season. Note the drip-irrigation hoses.

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