My Project List: Plotting and Planning for 2008

Garden projects and chores are like kudzu, they grow fast and long and sometimes seem insurmountable. They develop a life of their own. Here is part two of my to-do list. This is where I plan and plot over what is next. As I write I can think of quite a few things to add to the list. Like buying the seeds for this season. I’m still trying to sort out all the choices to what I can reasonably plant. I will probably order more seed than I need. I dream big I guess. Here is a list of projects that need to happen soon!

My Project List: The Done or Begun List

The Veggie Beds

I’m planning two “L” shaped raised beds made from 2″x6″ or 2″x8″ lumber. The middle of the “L” would be a square and rise one extra level above the rest. The dimensions will be approximately 4’x6′, 4’x4′, and 4’x6′ for each “L.”

Our Patio

We need to figure out what we can afford to spend on this one. Ideally we would have some sort of natural colored paving stones that would give it a cobblestone look and maybe one day add a pergola. It would be a dry fit patio with no mortar as this is probably the easiest way to lay a patio. The porous nature of a dry fit patio allows for good drainage.

The Deck Rail

This should be done already. I’ve wasted some time on it trying to figure out if I want to redo the deck in some way. Now I think I just need to make the quick fix for safety reasons. One rail has become separated from the corner post due to the corner post warping. It wiggles and wobbles yet so far has not fallen down. Our deck was not very well put together to begin with and this is really no surprise.

Add Lattice Work Around the Deck

We would like to add a 2′ wide sheet of lattice work around the bottom of our deck to screen off the bottom. Then we would like to put in a raised bed planting area around the deck. It would make another excellent cutting bed once it is built!


This is destined to be a spring chore or whenever I can get to it. The caladium and hosta bed as well as the front walkway bed will both need new mulch. Speaking of caladiums I will probably need to get more bulbs. I may remake it into more of a heuchera bed. However I decide to plant it I’ll still do the old newspaper trick after pulling out the majority of weeds from the beds.

Re-pot House Plants

Several of our house plants need re-potting including our peace lilies, an anthurium, and possibly a couple others. Mostly to replenish the soil but in the case of the peace lilies to divide.

The Deciduous Hedge

I started the border hedge with a row of Salix integra (Japanese Dappled Willow). This is a good plant for a deciduous hedge as it could grow up to 10 feet tall, grows quick, responds well to pruning, and likes the moist area where the hedge is to be planted. It also has some unique foliage as its new growth emerges in spring with a dappled variegation. I will probably incorporate some butterfly bushes and some ornamental grasses in some way to close up the hedge more and add some different plants for seasonal interest.

The Herb Garden

Since it’s too cold to really do much outside this project is still in the planning stage. What I need to decide on is whether to attempt a knot garden, go for a formal herb garden look, or allow it to become a more random natural looking bed. A knot garden would be neat but those are very difficult to plan out. It would be interesting to try though.

Use the Wood

A short time ago I picked up some used lumber for some projects. I had several ideas for the wood including some raised beds for starting perennials and cuttings, making some wooden planters, building a small bridge over a drainage ditch (I’ll expand on that one later), and using it for an arbor.

The perennial planting bed would be one of the easiest to do since I just want a place to start my perennials from seed to transplant later. All I need is to get some deck screws and cut the boards to fit. Six inches deep would be plenty for these beds which conveniently is the width of these boards. Then I would fill with dirt and be done.

The wooden planters would look nice but take a but more planning and work. They would need to be sanded and painted to match the house color (or at least come close).

The bridge will cover a small drainage ditch in the back yard. I thought of filling it in at one point but now I think turning it into a dry creek bed might be the best way to go. On the other side of the bridge is a shady area that may one day become a shade garden with all sorts of good shade plants.

The arbor is probably the easiest to construct. I just need to get some 4″x 4″s, 2″x 2″s, and some bolts. I’m not planning on anything fancy just a basic entry arbor to our shade grove in the back corner of the yard.

Where to Start?

By far the most important project to be right now is the veggie bed. We’re ordering several types of seeds to start and better have a place for them to go! We do have a little time for that since the last frost date is usually April 15th. Here is the prioritized list based of three factors: time, money, and convenience.

1. Perennial Bed and Arbor – tie
3. Fix the Deck rail
4. Lattice work around the deck
5. Veggie Garden Raised Beds
6. Install planting bed around deck
7. Deciduous Hedge
8. Herb Garden
9. Re-pot houseplants
10. Weeds – at any time!
11. Install the patio

I may not stick to this order but it all needs done at some point. The deciduous hedge and herb garden need to wait until spring for planting.


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. So much to do and so little time in each day to do them! Looks like you are getting a nice list together and order. Now I am guessing you will change and add on to that list a thousand times before you acomplish it all… LOL…

  2. I just found your blog — very lively and inspiring! You’ve inspired me to get moving on my own spring garden plans. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Skeeter, I think you hit the nail on the head. It is a very organized person who does not change or add to his list, but isn’t it nice to cross off projects as they are completed?

  4. Skeeter,

    I’m sure you are right! I have already thought of things to add to the list. In fact I forgot about my slope garden and my ornamental grass areas. The thing with a to-do list is to understand that it will always change. It will grow but I think I can accomplish most of this. We’ll see!

    The Illustrated Garden,

    Thanks for the nice comments! I visited your site yesterday, do you draw your own drawings? They looked really good!


    I agree crossing off the projects gives you a sense of accomplishment!

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