Monday, July 22, 2013

Alix’s Garden


We have a very old little building on the edge of the backyard used for garden tools, the mower, and the kitties’ beds.  We call it “the Cobhouse.”  A name we plucked from one of our favorite family read-aloud books, A Long Way From Chicago, by Richard Peck.  (if you haven’t read this yet, you should!)

As I said, the Cobhouse is very old, but since it is still quite useful, we decided to keep it for a while longer.  The kids gave it a whitewash this Spring and it does look much better than it did, but I still wouldn’t call it pretty.

I’ve looked and looked and can’t find a good shot of it in our files, but that’s probably because we have generally tried to avoid any pictures of it.

One of the first things we did last year after buying Kenilworth, was to clean the neglected area around the Cobhouse.  There were large piles of firewood and bricks scattered around, lots of weeds, a few metal stakes that may once have been used for a fence for dogs, and a dilapidated doghouse.  But that was the extent of our efforts.

Over the winter however, Alix made plans for a garden area next to the Cobhouse.  We collected packets of seeds in the Spring, reassigned the wood from 2 old raised beds that we weren’t using to delineate 3 boxed areas, and she planted her garden.

There was a section of split rail fence on one side, but she envisioned a white picket fence.  So I began a search on CL.  I finally found some for free!  Enough to go around 2 sides of her garden, which was enough for now since Luke’s potato patch bordered the 3rd side too closely to put fence there.

Here it is in the back of the trailer after the boys and I picked it up.


It was about 60 years old…. which made it perfect in our eyes!  The paint was peeling with just the right amount of peel.

Luke used a post hole digger for the posts.


He was a little bashful about me taking his picture, but I got one!






We already had several plants on one side, so he was careful.

He had to take most of the pickets off the original fence sections because many of the boards holding the pickets had broken when they were removed from their original home.  To get the spacing right when he replaced them, he made a template from pieces of scrap wood.  The template had the outline of the top part of the picket, and he pressed it snugly against the pickets to hold them in place while he hammered them to the boards.

He did a great job and Alix and I were both very pleased with how it turned out. 






Apparently we weren’t the only ones!






I found these pictures in our computer files. 

I thought they were adorably funny.

Don’t you agree?




  1. Oh no! A Barbie invasion of the garden!!

  2. Great Craigslist score! Love the garden too. :o)

  3. Yes, indeed, Sharron! You know how they are a part of the family. ;)

  4. I agree, Larissa! It took several weeks of looking, and I wasn't fast enough twice, but eventually we found one.

  5. Great post, Mom!
    Alix and I actually used those three pictures on one of our posts for not sure if you've seen it, but I think you have!!! Ironically, it's called The Picket Fence ;-p