A Space for the Tub

The bog garden tub will need to go somewhere, but the place I intend to keep it is in the area soon to be under construction for the greenhouse (assuming we ever get a permit approved). So I'm making a small temporary place for it against the south wall of the house. I already planned some kind of container garden for this location so this will work well.

I didn't take a before picture, so just imagine an area full of dead weeds (it's basically summer here and all the grass is turning brown, as it does) and rubble. I watered this area a couple times to soften the ground up (I cannot stress how much of a difference that makes for weeding here in the summer), and then this week I took a couple work breaks outside digging out the shape of the bed.

Digging out the bed for the carnivore tub

Here it is, mostly done. I put an extra paver from the driveway in there to measure the height that the area surface will end up at. I'm going to put pavers down in here for the tub to sit on so it doesn't just gently sink into the sand. We have a bunch of leftover pavers scattered around that will work just fine for now. I'll also fill up areas with garden soil that has actual fertility -- the junk in there now is just subsurface sand and gravel and only weeds can grow in it -- and plant some real plants in there to fill it out a little.

Peat moss soaking in water

One part of the bog garden plan that is going well is soaking the peat moss. I spent some time mixing it today, stirring the dry parts down under the wet parts, adding some more water, breaking up the few clumps left. I need to go get some sand to mix in there for the final product but the peat is definitely taking up the water nicely.

We are very lucky here to have low-TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) tap water that can be used directly on carnivorous bog plants. I still test it regularly after the Great Orchid Disaster when we were in the rental house (there was an issue with our tap water, and brackish groundwater was getting into the plumbing, which first made the water taste bad and then killed a bunch of my plants before I knew what was happening), but it's pretty reliably in the 45-50 range. That makes things like watering a massive bog garden much easier than they would otherwise be.

Of course, this would not be our house without something weird holding the project up, and the something weird is that the back wall of the house needs a coat of paint. It takes quite a beating from the sun and we planned to paint it over the winter when the side porch was being painted, but I needed to do some repair work on the wood siding. That is taking forever to schedule, but once it's done we can have the painters come and finish the wall up, then I can install this giant tub against the wall and plant it full of plants.

And after that happens, I can clean and reseal the deck, which is also overdue for some attention. I tell people living in an old house is like living in a wooden boat and I am not kidding.

posted by ayse on 05/27/21