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Over-engineering is my husband’s middle name

June 8, 2010

Inspired by the square foot gardens my brother and sister-in-law set up last year, I decided to rearrange my perennial beds and make room for some veggies. First order of business, removing the approximately acre and a half of ribbon grass from my shade garden.

Look closely at that picture. That’s my Malamute Sasha drowning in those evil, creeping, want-to-take-over-the-world weeds. If I didn’t take action my house would have been next. After breaking my back and a rake on those suckers, I hauled out my hoe and pitchfork and finished the job. Then I moved many of the shade plants that had previously been planted in the sunniest part of my garden to the vampire section. That which didn’t get moved was placed out at the curb this past weekend, which just happened to be our city’s first Give Away Weekend of the year. I think I get to count those in my 730 in 365 declutter challenge too!

As I brought home the plants I wanted for the garden, I quickly realized that we had a problem. A cute problem:

but a brussels sprout-devouring problem none the less.

This would call for drastic measures. Reflecting back on my brother’s garden, I recalled that he had an elegant, yet effective solution:

A removable cover that we considered never once considered as our backup daycare option. (in it’s theoretical secondary use it’s not nearly as effective at protecting the carrots.)

Seeing as I had no specific ambition to go slicing up 2x2s or tracking down chicken wire, I devised a plan to use rebar and bird netting, both of which we either had or I could easily access at our local Canadian Tire. I’d mentioned my gardening ambitions to my husband on several occasions, and was generally met with apathy at best. Until assembly time. Suddenly my design was severely lacking. It would have no doors and not be removable so would need to be low enough that I could reach over and work in the garden. Apparently our very athletic rabbits would also pole-vault into this den of yumminess, gorge themselves on the buffet and not be able to leave.

Shopping was done, tools brought out and assembly progressed until the garden fortress was up:

Even with just netting across the entrance, door to be constructed, the bunnies appear to have been foiled 2 days running. Now, they could be constructing a trebuchet or tunnelling in from behind the hedge, but I’m ready to defend my lettuce and broccoli by any means necessary!

Note: I know this isn’t a square foot garden. It was the *idea* of the fresh veggie goodness that inspired me. 1 foot squares of veggies is way too regimented for me. Mine is more a sprinkled assortment of that which I picked up, begged, borrowed and traded.

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