Friday, May 11, 2012

the goose loves: The Garden Thymes, Issue #1

Hey, Friends! Welcome to my new post series - The Garden Thymes. Yes, that's a pun on newspapers and herbs. We keep it classy on this blog.

Since I've done pretty well with my Tuesday's Ten posts, I figured the best way to post more would be to design another series on a specific day. I played around with Weedin' Wednesdays and Farmin' Fridays, but decided to skip the alliteration this time and go for the classic wordplay on Thyme/Time. Funny story - we haven't even planted thyme. But you won't know that until Issue #3 or #4.

This project, like many others, began many months ago, when my hippie husband Billy decided we should plant a garden and harvest our own vegetables, herbs, etc. I figured that after 7 years of living in Portland,(7?! Can you believe it?!) it was time to give in to the green culture and get growin.

So we decided we'd break out our tools and build us a planter box.

Maybe you remember this photo, when we first shared it back in March. Yep, two months ago. But it was still snowing back then, so there was really no rush.

We found a great tutorial video online, which I can't seem to find now. Some google-ing will probably get you some good ideas to supplement this "tutorial." It's a pretty basic rectangular setup with four walls, no bottom, and no ledges. Maybe we'll add ledges later, since I think they look nice.

We priced out various lumber sizes, and ended up choosing nine 8'x6"x2" boards in order to make an 8' x 4' box, 18" high. If you do some math (or if I do your math for you), that's six boards for the sides (stacked vertically) and three boards for the ends, each cut in half. We also got a 4"x4"x8" post to secure the edges together, and got that cut into four 18" pieces, with a 24" piece leftover. Yay numbers.

Here's our kind Mr. Home Depot, slicing our boards for us. Sure, we have a saw, but they never rarely charge us for cuts, they are wayyy faster, and likely more accurate.

Then we get home, reasses our side yard (the future home of Planter), and decide that four feet wide is too fat, and three feet would be better.
 So THEN we pull out our saw, chop one foot off each of the newly-sliced 4-foot boards, and add those wooden feet onto the ends of our 8-foot boards, securing the pieces together with some scrap plywood that was hanging out in the garage.
Now we had wood to make a 9' x 3' box. (Below are some one-footers waiting to be connected.)

I like lots of screws - Billy doesn't. I won this time.

So here's our dog, posing next to our long sides - 9 feet long, 1.5 feet high. You can see our 3-foot ends in front of the goose, and our 1.5-foot posts standing up.

Ooh, looks like a planter! Sorta.

Where's Waldo Bentley?

Putting the sides together is very simple, but slightly time consuming. You line up your posts with the end of one side, and drill holes all the way through. We used 3/8" holes and 3/8" bolts that were 5.5" long. I let Billy do the hard work here.

Then you take a picture of your dog, who's taking a break from ripping up his nice shark bed in the yard.

Then you take a picture of your husband, who's still working hard on the planter box.

Our sides were made up of three 6" tall boards, so we drilled three holes on each end, spacing them out so that the bolts from one side didn't run into the bolts from the other side. The bolts on the right are at the top of each board, while the bolts on the left are at the bottom of each board.

Then you repeat for the other four sides. Ideally, when you went to the hardware store, you bought 24 bolts that were 5.5", instead of about 15 bolts that were 5.5" and 9 bolts that were other various lengths, like 5" and 4.5". If you didn't, then you can take a break and head back to the store to get the right parts. We would never buy the wrong sizes, though, of course, but just in case you run into that problem...

  We completed two "L" shapes with the four sides, and then brought them over to the side yard to be finished, since it would be way too heavy and awkward to carry the box into the side yard once it was all put together. And we know Billy's my muscles aren't that big. :) And you're right - it's not quite put together here.  We had to go to Home Depot and get the right size bolts.
And that's where I leave you! The Garden Thymes will resume next week, when it takes a closer look at the dirty side of gardening - dirt.

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