Post Holes & Happy Dances

You guys!


Right?! I feel like words are superfluous at this point and that my feelings of joy can only be expressed through the art of interpretive dance. However, if you’ve ever hauled thirty fence posts, seven-hundred pounds of concrete, and topped it all off with a couple of hours using a sawsall in one weekend, you know that sudden or grandiose movements with any part of your body are damn near impossible. But I’m definitely dancing on the inside.

So, let’s talk about this garden fence, shall we?

It came from a house that was slated for demolition, and my uncle– who’d been contracted for the job– asked me if I wanted the old fence sections. Um… hell yes?

Honestly, they were delivered to the farm last fall, and I fully intended to get them in the ground before winter. (Ha. Ha ha.) In my defense, I did put in a shit-load of fence last year, but I couldn’t get to this financially or logistically before we were buried under fifty feet of snow. And we all know how much fun that was.

Enter: Spring. This year I thought I might finally, finally have a shot at building the garden I’ve been dreaming of for, oh, four years now. It started with my first heavy-duty raised beds back at the Memorial House, and I made a valiant effort to bring that vision to reality on Black Feather Farm last year…

Maybe not so valiant, actually, as I didn’t get very far. But this year, this year I’ve made some actual big-time progress… because I hired help.

These guys also helped with the pain-in-the-ass split-rail portion of the donkey fence last year, and are fabulous. (If anyone is in the Ann Arbor area, All Arbor Custom Fence, I highly recommend them.)

So, Friday, just a few short hours into the day…


And by late afternoon…


Do you know how many post holes that is? Thirty. Bringing the total number of post holes dug on this property to well over a hundred now.

Here’s what the garden looks like, now that it’s fenced in…


I’ll be taking the grass out of the bed that runs along the inside of the fence and planting leafy greens and some berry bushes there.


The rest of this grass is also coming out (courtesy of a sod cutter I’m hoping to rent next week) to make room for corn, hops, strawberries, and a number of squash vines.

It was great having the crew over on Friday to knock out the biggest section of work, but there’s still a lot left for me to do on my own.

First up was trimming down all of the 4×4 posts…


Well hello there, power tools. I’ve missed you.

Then, I had even more fun starting the pergola I decided last-minute to put over the entryway.


Next up, finishing the pergola, building the gates, and building the last two fence panels that need to be custom sized to make sure the whole thing ended up square. Then I’ve got one more garden bed to build, some pathways to finish, and so many plants to plant! Plus another fun project or two that got started over the weekend. It’s going to be an awesome couple of weeks in the garden.

13 Responses

  1. Wow, I have garden envy! And wish I were a lot younger.

    That nice house was being demolished, aargh.

    1. That was LITERALLY the words I was thinking as I was reading this post! I have garden envy!! I completely ADORE your garden!

  2. This gorgeousness would make Cole Porter eat his words: “Give me land, lots of land under starry skies above” (that part’s OK but) “Don’t fence me in”. The pergola is killer. Love the whole set up. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  3. really looks good, I hope you have a LONG garden hose in case the 50 feet of snow was the entire allotment of water for the year… but a what a great way to keep out the bunnies, deer and raccoons, as well as other critters that want your veggies more than you.

  4. Are you going to grow something on the pergola? I just put in a new arbor and planted grapes to grow on it. My post will be published about that project tomorrow.

  5. As a suggestion, I would take a circular saw and put a “point” on the fence posts rather than leave them flat. I realize they’re PT wood, but you should give the tops the ability to shed the water to make the posts last a bit longer.

  6. I’m not sure if this would even be your speed, but one of my friends in my neighborhood had a picket fence and put those little solar paneled lights on the posts. Something like this:|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo= ONly I’m sure he didn’t pay near as much for what he has. It looks quite awesome, but then again we live in the city and who really cares if we add to the light pollution:)The fence looks awesome by the way. Congrats on getting that project done.

  7. What a find!!! That’s some beautiful fencing!! Probably cost you less to have it installed than if you had to buy the fence materials.

    Any plans for wildlife and chicken exclusion…or are you just going to share the bounty?

  8. Looks amazing! Congratulations… Breaks my heart that the darling house where they came from was to be demolished. If only it could be shipped to Los Angeles! 😉

  9. It’s kind of strange to see this “small” section of land being fenced in, in the middle of a large grass section. I totally get the idea though (and probably would do the same), I only see large grass areas with cows on them, or other cattle for that matter.

    It does look very nice, and I hope you’ll have heaps of fun with it!

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