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Introduction and inital beds.


Hello, My name is Mike and I’m a new gardener. My wife and I hail from Alert Bay, at the top of Vancouver Island in the Pacific Northwest of British Columbia.

We just started gardening this year. It required digging out beds in the yard, which we discovered were filled with the left over concrete mix from pouring the walkway years ago. We also found quite a collection of random plastic garbage, plywood, and roots.

After turning over this area, and consigning the turf to the compost pile, I strained out a large part of the rocks and gravel, added in some sea soil, some peat moss, and some lime.

Ugly Lower Bed

We did it in two stages, first the lower “ugly bed” then the upper “Kimber bed.” While clearing out the lower bed we punched through a black pipe, the purpose of which was non-apparent even through heavy rains. It didn’t smell or anything, so we knew it wasn’t sewer.

We found out what it was when I accidentally flooded the bed while cleaning out the eves. I then had to dig a trench which I filled with the rocks screened out while I was forming the area. We planted some Dahlias, and a wildflower mix. We planted the mix directly into the ground and now can’t tell what’s flowers and what’s weeds.

Kimber Bed

The upper bed I cut out about 3 weeks later, forming a circle within a circle. I planted the Lilac inside the inner circle. This was about a month ago, and I finally got around to planting some ground cover in the form of “Wine and Roses” Thyme. I will eventually be adding in some crocus’ for a mix early spring burst of colour.

This bed needs a bit of work still, as I want to straighten out the ends of the circles, to better blend it into the lower bed next year when I add more dirt to the lower one to even their levels out.

This is just one of several beds I’m currently working on as I have a hard time with sticking with one thing, and prefer to work wherever in the yard grabs me for that day. As such my whole yard looks half finished, and haphazard. I know it’s only temporary, and one day I’ll have a garden to rave about.

Both Beds

More blog posts by beerslinger

Next post: The upper bed.



Hi Mike, welcome to Goy, lots of work then!, remember
'a weed is a plant in the wrong place'
maybe grow in a celled seed tray and transfer out when stronger then you'll learn what the leaves look like ( and what not to pullout) seed leaves don't usually look like the adult plant
Look forwards to seeing your progress.

16 Jul, 2011


That sounds like a lot of hard work! How big is your garden?

Welcome to GoY, by the way.

16 Jul, 2011


Hello and welcome to G.o.Y., look's like you have got youself a lot's of work to do there but it will be worth it.

16 Jul, 2011


I'm like you - I go from one job to another and hope they will all be finished some day soon lol. Good luck with your new garden, and welcome to GoY :o)

16 Jul, 2011


We currently live on a double lot, which in Alert Bay is equal to about 3 city lots from what I remember when we were in Winnipeg so I have LOTS of room to work with. I'll be following along the trials and tribulations as I landscape my whole yard over the next few years.

16 Jul, 2011


Pam - My wife and I actually went out and bought four 72 cell seed starting trays, the mini greenhouse kind, for just that next year.

Hywel - It's kinda annoying in a way because the yard doesn't have any "Finished" sections, but then I figure with gardening is anything really finished?

16 Jul, 2011


never!, you think you're finished and you see just the plant..... or a lovely pot and you're off again....:o))

16 Jul, 2011


welcome to GoY, and good luck , the beginning is always the best place to start, look forward to seeing your progress

16 Jul, 2011


Wouldn't it be boring if our gardens were 'finished'

17 Jul, 2011


Hi Mike & Pam, welcome from me too...good luck with your masive project...all our Gardens take time, and no they are never really finished...its trial and error...lots of errors in the beginning...but you'll get to recognise your plants, even if you can't remember the name.... lol...
Lots of GOYers here to help with ideas, and answers to you are not on your own...

17 Jul, 2011


Welcome to Goy Mike, a garden is never finished but thats the joy of it, I always wander when working in the garden, the only downside to that method is that I have been known to lose my tools......

19 Jul, 2011

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