Raised Garden


Last spring I created the first garden on my new place by digging a roughly 8′ by 12′ plot out of the stubborn pasture grass behind my house.  It worked out well enough; but digging out that plot was HARD work and the grass persisted in reclaiming its lost territory.  This spring I wanted a bigger garden, but rather than any more digging I opted for a raised bed.  My sister and brother-in-law had already built one.  I loved their design and, with their help, built one of my own alongside my existing garden.  The finished bed measures 12′ long, 52″ wide, and 20″ deep.

Materials used:  four 12′ x 8″ x 2″ boards;  four 52″ x 8″ x 2″ boards;  two 12′ x 4″ x 2″ boards;  two 52″ x 4″ x 2″ boards;  eight 18″ x 8″ x 2″ boards (for anchoring the levels together;  230 screws 3.5″ long.

Using two 12′ x 8″ boards and two 52″ x 8″ boards we built the first level.  Once the boards were securely fastened, we built the second level on top of that.  Finally we used the 4″ wide boards to build the top.  We next used the 18″ long boards to fasten the three levels together:


One 18″ board in each corner, like this.


Two more 18″ boards, evenly spaced, along the sides between the corners.


The finished product!

You can see how we arranged the screws.

Afterward, I put a thick layer of cardboard on the ground.  We filled the bed with a mixture of 50% topsoil and 50% dairy compost.



Overall, not too bad!  I’m anxious to see how my garden turns out.

© KoppingAnAttitude, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.


Spring Has Sprung!

IMG_5345 Fillary in bloom

Spring has come to Montana!  And none too soon.  While folks from places from North Dakota or Buffalo, New York would probably tell me I’ve never seen a true winter, this last proved the hardest one I’ve seen in a long time.  At any rate, I got outside a couple of days ago, returning inside just long enough to shed my jacket before heading back out to get a jump on the weeds.  Already I hear laughter, because those darn things bloom underneath the snow, I swear.  That red stemmed filaree above looks might robust for so early.

I was gratified to find that, despite my best efforts, everything I had planted and nurtured the previous year had actually survived, which means: 1) Those plants are mighty tough; 2) They’re growing just to spite me; or 3) My thumb’s not as black as I thought.  (The reason HAS to be 1 or 2.)

The elderberry that laid down flat after I thought I just HAD to transplant it last August is coming up from the bottom and looking mighty good!

IMG_5335 Elderberry

So is the rhubarb I over-harvested to satisfy my craving for rhubarb-strawberry pie (which, by the way, was delicious!)

IMG_5331 Rhubarb

Doug Fir and Lulu Larch look content within their deer-resistant enclosures.  (I say deer RESISTANT because if they’re hungry enough, deer seem to find a way into anything.  But, like so many of the old-timers remind me, THEY were here first!)

IMG_5341 Doug FirIMG_5337 Larch







This currant didn’t look overly happy last fall, but seems well enough now!  (At least, it’s all budded out.)

IMG_5333 Currant

Last but not least, despite a late planting and not as well established as I hoped for before winter set in, this little bush has green leaves beneath the dead stuff.

IMG_5343 Russian Bush

This will be pretty when it fills out!

The field is greening up and before long I’ll be mowing again, which I won’t mind a bit. . .until after I’ve mowed that acre a half-dozen times with my walk-behind!


© KoppingAnAttitude, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.



Winter Beauty


I was going to start this post with a rant about how I’ve had enough of winter and never want to see another one for the rest of my life. It’s cold, it’s windy, and I hate driving on slick roads.  But while shoveling snow gets awfully tiresome, I must admit winter has a certain beauty; plus, those seemingly endless storms brought us much-needed snowpack.



Last week after putting down about two feet of the white stuff, Mother Nature brought us a night of howling winds which left some sizable drifts across my freshly-plowed driveway.  I went out early the next morning to clear off the sidewalk–AGAIN.  Amid my grumbling and grousing, however, I couldn’t help noticing how beautifully the wind had arranged the snowy field.  After clearing off the concrete I put the shovel away and grabbed my camera.





These pictures reminded me of the sand formations at Bruneau Dunes:








The snow sparkled like diamonds, but in this picture looks like black sand:



Yes, the snow is pretty–but I’ll still be glad to see green grass again!