Once my deck was completed and covered in pots I was still restless. I needed some real dirt to dig into. The only 'yard' we had behind our building had long be covered with gravel and use for parking. But I notice a small area between the staircase and the building next door that was not being used for much beside a junk pile. And it did get a decent amount of sun in the afternoon so I figured it was worth a shot. I cleared out all the garbage and dug deep into the poor excuse for soil. I found lots of debris- rusted nails, bottle caps and bits of metal, broken ceramic tiles and of course, plastic of every sort. I dug it all out until I reached sand, about 8 inches down and using compost, manure and topsoil, filled it all back in again. Now I had a garden!
My first plants were donations from my friend's farm in Niagara; I scored a wild rose, some lilies of the valley and violets in three shades- purple, white and a gorgeous magenta that I have never seen anywhere else. I also attempted to transplant a dogtooth violet but sadly it failed to appreciate it's new home. I also splurged on 3 columbines and an orange lily ( of which type I have long forgotten). I used an old window grate as a trellis and threw in lots of morning glory and scarlet runner seeds to climb it. A real garden at last!