The trick is learning to slow down. I’m getting there, but it’s not a quick journey!
By the end of the week after our dirt was delivered we have managed to get all the soil leveled out. It looks like a lot more work that it was. The delivery truck backed up to the frame, dumped out half of our dirt into one half, moved over and dumped the second half of our dirt into the other half and the “delivery” part was done. Of course there were peaks and valleys that needed leveling and we still have a bit more dirt in the frame than the frame is designed to hold but I suspect that ever time the soil will settle and the ground level will be closer to the top of the frame than it is right now.
It’s clear to me that the trick — for me — is lots of breaks and rest stops along the way. We worked in the early morning hours of several days. I worked a few minutes and then rested a few minutes. Never really felt uncomfortable — aside from simply feeling the heat of the day. So, I’m confident that even though it looks like a lot of work I did a good job of staying within my doctor’s guidelines. What once might have been done in a couple hours took off-and-on effort over three days but I’m still happy that a.) the job is done, and b.) I paid attention to my new limitations even though it might look as if we didn’t.
Of course that doesn’t mean I did everything “right.” If I did it again I might change a couple little things. I put in a cable to prevent the frame from bulging in the center. The delivery truck arrived just as I was starting to screw the cable ends to the frame — so I ended up having to dig a trench in the newly dropped dirt to finish the connection — I should have made the driver wait 10 minutes while I finished what I’d been doing before his unscheduled arrival.
And I might have made better choices in where to put which plants. Silly me, I put a bush form Star Jasmine at the South end of the raised bed instead of at the North end of the bed where we could smell it every time we came or went from the house. My solution might be to get another jasmine rather than moving the plants in place.
We have a Sago Palm, the jasmine, 6 rosemary plants and about 10 lavenders as well as a couple flowers (which flowers aren’t doing very well, so they may get replaced)
I was happy to see how well the little babies were doing in re-rooting during those few weeks since we brought them home. And now with a larger soil base and real dirt I hope it will be easier to keep the plants in the desired moisture zone. I found that the potting soil we used would get soaking, and then dry out ever so rapidly — I’m glad to have real outdoor plants now planted in real dirt.
Our lavender experiment is coming along nicely. As mentioned before two varieties of lavender that we had tested did not like either the heat, or the humidity here. So we lost a couple plants. But the “Spanish” and “French
and “Provencal” as well as two new plants called “Sweet” lavender seem to be settling in nicely. I’m hopeful we’ll soon have that unctuous aroma of lavender blossoms when the plants have matured a bit.
I don’t know whether we NEED to put markers or flags out to mark the end of the planter box — in anticipation of bad driver RV’ers in the future but we did. You can see them in the picture above.
We also have to replace our tile house numbers — The frame and tiles are reusable so I’ll install them to the front of the frame where they will be more visible. But that’s minor adjustments compared the real work of getting the frame in place and planted.
Good physical effort. Feeling good afterwards. Happy with the results too! Now, if the old adage is right that plants will sleep during the first year, creep during the second year, and leap during the third year — I’ll be waiting for the third year!