Challenges: The parking pad bed


We have a two-car garage, but only park on one side of it – the other side’s door doesn’t even open. And so one of the projects I would like to do this summer is to get some stuff growing on the cement pad in front of the second door. It’s in full sun, so almost anything could grow there; but, being on cement, and in our back alley, there are lots of challenges.

As a lady, this thought would have never occurred to me, but my husband helpfully pointed out: “We don’t want to grow anything back there that we’re going to eat, because people will pee on it.” HOLD UP. People go around peeing on garden beds in back alleys? Who are these people? Are they BARBARIANS?

Short answer: Yes. Yes they are. So even if you are not the kind of person who would ever pee on someone else’s garden, doesn’t mean you should be the kind of chump who eats food other people have peed on, I guess. We can thank my husband for that particular insight. Ugh.

Second, people steal stuff from my back alley constantly. I’ve had flower pots (some WITH PLANTS IN THEM) disappear from this space on three separate occasions. Once, it was two or three huge clay pots full of dirt that probably weighed 50 lbs apiece. Meaning that whoever took them probably had a truck. Allow me to emphasize: BARBARIANS. WITH TRUCKS. So whatever we build needs to be permanent-looking, and not too enticingly edible. For this reason, I’m thinking of building a wood enclosure that encompasses three different functions:

  • Lowest bed, closest to the alley: space to try hay-bale gardening (for the first time!). But I’ll put the hay inside a wood box to make it look tidier and also so people don’t wreck it hopefully?
  • Medium bed: regular raised bed, with space for annuals – a mix of flowers, herbs, and maybe a few camouflaged edibles. I want to try to build a water tray into the bottom and have it be self-watering so it doesn’t dry out.
  • High bed: Some kind of enclosure that holds several large square pots, with a back that comes off – so it looks like a raised bed, but in actual fact, I want to be able to move the pots into my garage in the wintertime. Hopefully this will disguise the pots (so no one looks at them and thinks, I could put those in my barbarian-truck and then they would be mine); plus, hopefully I can therefore successfully overwinter some perennials in them that otherwise wouldn’t survive in these harsh conditions.

So that’s the theory behind this particular scribble.

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