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The Outdoor Classroom

When we bought our house last August, one of the first things I noticed was the location I wanted to put my garden. We have a very narrow and small "backyard" (really it's the side of our house as a huge garage occupies our entire backyard). Behind our garage looked, to me, to be the perfect place for my new garden! I also really wanted our last science unit to be a square foot garden. We have been making some great changes toward healthy eating, and having the kids grow their own vegetables is another way I want to do this.

This weekend Rick and I started Phase I of getting the area prepared for our gardens. We put in an iron fence to keep the dogs out.

Then we laid 4 mil. plastic over the entire area and pinned it down. This area is a total weed patch and I did not want to spend my whole Spring and Summer pulling weeds!

Rick made me three 4' x 4' raised boxes and we positioned them down the center of the area. He also made me a 1' x 16' bed against the back of the garage for my herbs and fruits.

Finally, we covered the whole area with 24, 3-cubic foot bags of cypress mulch.

My husband did not do all of the work himself. Yes, I was there, too! And, I even got dirty!

In the next couple of weeks we are going to place some pavers down the sides of the raised boxes and get the boxes filled up with a good soil mixture.

Then it will be time to plant!! One of my boxes will be a dedicated "pizza garden", with all of the vegetables we like for pizza. Another one will be a dedicated "salsa garden", with all of the vegetables to make salsa (with lots of jalapeƱos for my husband). The third garden will be for the kids to do a square foot garden for their science lessons.

I hope to find a cute iron bench and some other decorative goodies at some garage sales this summer. I am also going to be planting lots of bird, bee, and butterfly attracting bushes along the fence for beauty and pollination. I am sure this garden will be a work-in-progress. But I think we have already made some great progress!


  1. Look at you! This is awesome, Nicole! YOu are inspiring me to get my humongous (is that even a word?!?) raised bed tilled and planted!!!

  2. Great transformation...can't wait to see the green start showing up....I can almost smell pizza!

  3. Wonderful--functional and beautiful! My kids love their square foot garden space. They take much more ownership of it because it is their garden. Not only are they happy to eat anything they grew, but they have great pride if we serve some of their veggies to guests!

    I can't wait to see updates on the garden, and your garden unit study.

  4. Wow, I am so jealous. These look great. Looking forward to seeing what you guys grow.

  5. Awesome! I am inspired. We had some plans to get some plants in the ground, but it hasn't happened yet. :/

    Your project looks awesome so far. I can't wait to see more :)

  6. It's already pretty and you haven't planted yet! LOL


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