Several days past the *most recent* torrential rains, the kites and children were out to enjoy Robbins Farm Park, and the Garden took shape. The fence is up, the postholes are dug, the gate is in and swings, and a lot of tired gardeners achieved a great deal on a stunning spring day.
We showed up around 9 to try to find the chunks of wood we had sunk at the corners of the garden-to-be just a week ago, also inches of rain ago. Not so easy…but eventually the first one was found and the others followed. We also found a bounty of donated 2x4s (thank you Shannon and thank you Brendan Driscoll, Arlington contractor!), tools of all stripes as we all arrived, and visitors already curious what was happening.
Within a couple of hours the holes for the corner posts (doubled-up 2x4s) were well underway, not to say finished what with a fine New England crop of stones; the day would not have been complete without a monstrous rock that nonetheless gave it up to sweat and muscle power (Bailee on deck for the finishing touch) and was dislodged from exactly where we needed a corner post to go. It graces the garden’s center, for the moment. Everyone had a shot at digging, our youngest participants bringing especial gusto to the enterprise (thank you, Lauren, Shannon’s daughter and Desmond, Mary Ellen’s son!).
Meanwhile the lines for paths were laid out with our favorite dessert topping, spray-chalk-in-a-can, and removal of sod could begin. Erika developed a technique for removing strips of rolled-up sod, and Steven and Dick carted it away to build a golf course just east of the garden (not really–they were filling in sinkholes that create drainage issues for our neighbors to the east).
As we dug, we marveled at the healthy number of earthworms, Steven monitoring their well-being since they’re our best friends going forward. The compost bin was set up and seeded with turf and worms. After a well-earned lunchbreak, it was decided to go ahead and claim the snow fence in place north of the garden site–it was due to be removed by Parks and Recreation, and given the natural preoccupation of P&R with flooding issues lately, we hoped we were doing them a favor. The condition of the fence is not all we could hope for, but our repairs to it helped somewhat, replacing decrepit slats and filling in gaps.
Meanwhile Alan and Mike and Steven worked to get the salvaged gate in place. With only one nut missing, and a beautifully seated post complete with its own attached concrete hunk, it isn’t going anywhere. Oakes and Elisabeth pounded in stakes for the fence, avoiding calamity with the beautiful green but rickety stepladder. Oakes exhorted Melanie to take photos a la paparazzi which she found not quite in her nature; nonetheless, 90 were taken.
The outlines of the garden, in stripped turf, are clear; the sign is up to let off-hours visitors know what we’re about, and the fence we hope will hold until we can secure more slats. We gathered under our nearest tree to collapse and consider the day, exhausted puppies.
It was especially gratifying to see the number of adults and parents and children and dogs interested and seeming pleased that such a project is happening. We hope a few of them may look more deeply into becoming members.