Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Constant Gardener

There's a reason you should never own a truck:  friends, family and coworkers will ask you to help them move stuff.

I know this firsthand because today I conned one of my friends into helping me pick up a yard of dirt from a local nursery.

It all started when Betty told me that she wanted to build a garden.  I thought we already had a garden, because we grow tomatoes and eggplants in a bricked-in area filled with dirt, but Betty corrected me by saying that it was a "flower bed."  Apparently a flower bed remains a flower bed even if you plant vegetables in it.

She measured out how much land she wanted to farm in our back yard, then her dad came by and sprayed Round Up all over that area of the grass.  Two weeks later, the grass was dead and I was kicking myself in the butt for not spraying the entire yard with Round Up so that I wouldn't have to mow.

We bought some cinder blocks at Lowe's.  I had originally intended to buy them at Home Depot, so I went by myself to pick them out.  I thought they'd be in the Lawn and Garden section, which is where all of the paving stones and bricks are, but I couldn't find any cinder blocks and couldn't find anyone to help me.  But chances are that they were in the lumber section, which is where we found them at Lowe's.  Whodathunkit?

Next, I had to buy dirt.

I bought what is called a "yard" of dirt.  I had no idea what a yard of dirt was, but it's a cubic feet of dirt.  Which is to say, it's a butt load of dirt.  It's so much dirt that some dude had to come out and use a bulldozer thingy to scoop out dirt for us.

[Picture: The scoop!]

And then he dumped three scoops into the back of my friend's nice clean truck.

[Picture: Dirty, dirty dirt.]

I added a "double barrel" of pine straw and off we went!

[Picture: More dirt!]

Let's see now... I had gotten the dirt, gotten the pine straw, but I kept feeling like I was forgetting something.  Oh, I know, someone to do the work for me!

[Picture: Brannon with a shovel]

Yep, that's my friend Brannon, who is also my running buddy.  We're doing the Couch to 5K together.  We decided to work out tonight by just shoveling dirt for an hour instead of running.  He's a good guy, and without him I'd probably still be out there shoveling dirt.

Here's an action shot of me stomping pine straw down over the yard where we're about to shovel dirt.  I call this my "Blue Steel" look.

[Picture: ]

And here's an action shot of us shoveling dirt.  This serves as proof that I did manual labor for at least an hour of my life.

[Picture: ]

And here's our finished product!

[Picture: ]

I tried filling up all the holes in the cinder blocks, but it turns out that, after filling up an entire truck bed full of dirt - we didn't have enough dirt!  We had actually used some dirt to fill up our flower bed as well, so tomorrow I might go steal some dirt from there and put it in the cinder blocks.  We're going to plant some flowers in each of the cinder block holes, plant vegetables in the garden, and also paint the cinder blocks.  We thought the kids would enjoy decorating the garden.

If you or someone you know wants to create their own cinder block garden, let me know - I know a guy with a truck.

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