We made substantial progress on the front crescent-shaped planting bed last night. And when I say we, I mean I did all the work and Oli supervised. He's good at that.
This is what the bed has looked like for the last couple of months. The plastic and other weighty objects were my attempt to kill the weeds. I pulled it all off a few weeks ago and found a lot of hearty crab grass. So I scraped the top layer of soil out of the bed, and onto the concrete, and covered it all back up. Not pretty, but effective.
When I pulled the plastic, pots, mats, bricks, and stepping stones off the area tonight, I found that it had worked pretty well, and I only had to pull a couple of weeds, which came out easily because they were not thriving. Please forgive the photos, I snapped these well after the sun went down, but it was still light enough to work.
Oli is still not allowed on the front porch because of the baby robins, and he's not happy that he has to be so far from the activity. We all know how much he likes to sink his paws into fresh soil.
I broke up the soil a bit with the hoe, and scraped it around with the metal rake, then I added two fresh bags of topsoil, and did my best to level it all with the rake. It was kind of hard to tell because it was getting pretty dark by then, and I was working by the light from the porch and the citronella candles.
I put my potted plants in position, planted two more cucumbers in the ground, and placed the recycled rubber stepping stones. Now I just need to fill in the gaps with plants, or I'll have the same weed problem I started with.
I have some seeds that will probably work, but I'm going to see what Mom and I find when we visit Noggle's Sweet Meadow Greenhouse. They are having a buy one, get one sale. I'm thinking that this late in the game, I'd rather not mess around with seeds, grown up plants will be better. Plants: at the far back, against the porch pillar, one cucumber, with twine to climb, next to it, Lewis' frog belly plant. In the yellow pot, chives. The two plastic terracotta colored pots (16" and heavy), one each of Better Boy and Sweet Millions tomatoes. Lavender in the white pot at the front, flanked by two more cucumbers. The marigolds came up on their own, and I'll probably plant more. Marigolds keep the bunnies away.
Now I just need to find something for the two cucumbers in the front to climb...