(S) Thankfully, we have patient neighbors because Travis and I went through 6 years of hell and this garden bed definitely suffered because of it. The bed was a weed infested eye sore. One weekend day, I had had enough. While Travis was working his second job, I went out and pulled all the weeds. This was very cathartic for me because I was outside in fresh air, dirty, sweaty, no electronic distractions and I had a singular focus. When Travis came home he was both surprised and impressed which felt good. Finally some positive interactions.
(T) This project is what I see as the beginning of Weekend Mavericks. I had no idea that Samantha was home playing in the dirt, clearing out the weed-infested garden bed. We had truly let this area go. There was even an old suitcase buried under the weeds. When I arrived home and saw the entire bed cleared out and all the tall weeds were gone, I was pleasantly surprised. Seeing Samantha so excited about what she had done made me proud of her. Even though she was extremely dirty and sweaty, I could tell she was in her element.
(S) The next day, we went out in the rain to continue what was started. Even though it was raining, Travis dug an oval shape while I used the dirt and clay he unearthed to build up the outer ring. We finished shaping the garden that day and laid weed fabric down. We found a sale on garden soil at our local hardware store the next weekend. On Facebook Marketplace, I found a guy who built wishing wells and another with a wagon wheel for sale. That Saturday, again while Travis was working his second job, I set out to pick up the soil, wishing well and wagon wheel. Later that day, Travis and I went to pick out stain for the wishing well and shopped flowers we thought would be pretty. We also bought a large planter to go inside the well for our solar powered water feature.
(T) Staining the wishing well proved not to be the easiest due to one of our beloved French Bulldogs, Coco Puff, spilling the quart of stain all over the back porch. The back porch has already been identified as another future project. With the stain on the porch floor, we used rags and a paint brush to stain the entire wishing well, dipping our brush and rags into the puddle beside us.
(S) This was a rainy spring, so on weekend days it was raining we worked on the Rainbow Bridge storage bench. The following Saturday, I bought several flowers and plants and planted them all before Travis got home from work. I also placed the well and planter. We wanted a garden that would attract bees and butterflies and would re-bloom year after year, so I chose perennials with different bloom seasons ensuring there would be flowers almost all year. The flowers planted include primrose, bearded iris, dianthus, lavender, phlox, calla lilies, a butterfly bush, shasta daisies, and columbine.
(S) We found a wooden bucket and solar pump on Amazon and headed to Lowe's again for some stain. I stained the bucket and sealed the bottom of the bucket with aquarium sealant we had from a previous project. Unfortunately, it still leaked. Travis found some Rust-Oleum Leak Seal Flexible Rubber Sealant and that did the trick. Travis drilled a hole in the bottom of the bucket to slip the rubber tube from the pump. He then hammered a nail partly into the side of the well in order to rest the bucket on, keeping it in a tilted position. The solar pump worked beautifully. We later found the planter must have been porous as water leaked out rather rapidly. This was fixed by spraying the inside of the planter with the Rust-Oleum as well. We then mounted the solar panel to the top of the well to get the most sun exposure.
(S) For the light feature, we bought a galvanized watering can, a mall shepherds hook, and some battery operated outdoor string lights from Amazon. Travis pried the top sprinkler portion off and used pliers to open the hole feeding the water spout. He then used a nail to open the holes at the end of the spout, which he had pried off in order to pass the string lights through. Feeding the lights through proved to take some time and patience. That time paid off when we are able to see the water can lights lit up at night.
(T) I have to admit, that there are some ideas that Samantha has where I have trouble visualizing her vision. This was one of them. However, the final product came out amazing. I love coming home at night, driving onto the driveway and seeing the watering can lights lit up. The entire garden has been so pleasing to see first thing in the morning while leaving and right before stepping into the house. It brings a certain kind of peace and joy to the day.
(S) Travis measured the area of the garden for the rocks. We ordered forty 30-lb bags of medium sized red river rocks from Home Depot. Delivery was a couple of weeks by Estes truck but they were worth the wait. I lugged all 1200 lbs. of rock up to our garden, dumped and spread them all before Travis arrived home. I hosed them off a couple of times to rid the rocks of the dust.
(T) When I got home, Samantha was sitting on the front steps. I noticed an empty wooden pallet laying by the driveway. After exiting my car I immediately saw that the rocks had not only arrived but that she had placed all of them around the garden. I was very impressed but not surprised that she had spent her evening adding the rocks. The two weeks it took to get these rocks weren't without their delivery issues, but well worth the wait. The stress over delivery delays only increased her desire to get these rocks in and placed.
(S) After placing the rocks we noticed some small gaps between them so you saw red rocks and the black weed blocker fabric underneath. Not wanting to spend any more money on the rocks, we purchased some red & brown mulch during one of Lowe's sales. If one ever needs a good workout, remove 1200 lbs. of red rocks, dump and spread ten bags of mulch and replace the rocks around a garden. The mulch solved the gap problem and finished the look of the flower bed beautifully. I added a shepherd's hook in one corner for some hanging plants and a hummingbird feeder. The wagon wheel was placed in another corner to frame and balance the look. The last add was a 1/2 log garden edging. It's light and easy to cut and install.