I gave myself lumber for my birthday. My darling husband is buying me dirt - well, potting soil and manure and compost - for the new raised beds. We're going to take the back 3500+ square feet of our yard and convert lawn and sprinkler systems to raised beds with drip systems. We put sod (that's where the 3500 square feet came from - our sod order was 7 pallets!) and the sprinklers in 12 years ago before we had our wedding and party back there - tables and seating for 200 people under a 70 x 40 foot canopy - but we don't need that much lawn any more. We still have 2 sections of grassy (or grasslike) lawn - clover and violets count, right? - for those times when we throw a garden party. It's just too wasteful of scarce water resources for us to have that much grass to keep green.
(CA, at least the Bay Area, is havng a bad rain year thus far. Our annual average rainfall is 17.5 inches, starting on July 1, and so far we've had about 7.5 or 8. Most of that was in February and March. We get virtually no rain from June to November, so it's going to be a long, dry summer. I'd rather spend my water dollars on vegetables, fruit trees and other trees, roses and herbs.)
I'm starting the new garden with 3 raised beds. Redwood 2 x 12's should last about 30 years, according to a recent article. That sounds about right. The old ones were made of 1 x 12 fir, and they lasted 10 years before starting to deteriorate. They'll be 8 feet long and 4 feet wide. Eventually there will be 10 or 12 of them, as well as the 3 Rubbermaid horse troughs that I use for plants that require more water - it evaporates more slowly from them. And I almost forgot the 2 raised beds near the largest lemon tree, one of which is home to blueberry bushes, and the second is unplanted. And there's the herb garden...
And here's one of the raised beds almost finished. I still need to staple the wire mesh to the bottom (to keep gophers and moles out) and flip it over and position it correctly for the sprinkler head that will be converted to feed the soaker hose. Then it's time to fill it with compost and manure and potting soil, and finally, vegetables.
Looks like there's a busy weekend! And a haircut in Berkeley, and dinner and improv with friends tonight - it's a good life!