Monday-Friday, 11am-3:30pm, we feature an $8 lunch. It changes everyday but you can check Facebook or Twitter for today's $8 lunch special.
When I first saw that this Chinese restaurant space was up for lease back in November I kind of gave it a, "eh, can't hurt to check it out". The windows were a little dingy, the blinds were sort of half open and it was hard to see in. My enthusiam, if I even had any at that point, waned even further.
But then, through the front doors, past the pink mirrored walls and laminate bar, I spotted the patio and it had my full attention. If it was half as decent as it looked from the little sliver of window I could see it through then this place might work out after all. I snuck around the back alley and looked over the fence and even in the gray light of November I could see it had potential.
Fast forward 6 months or so, we're still excited about the patio but it was in bad shape. Three nasty cedar bushes, weeds, a whole bunch of other crap and in general just sort of neglected. It seemed like the previous tenant had used it more as a depository for trash than anything else.
Enter Zoey's mom, Rebecca, from Oregon. She had been shown some photos and was told to come up with a plan to make this place a little bit nicer. She arrived on Thursday and we immediately put her to work.
On Friday we scoped it out and hit up some local nurseries to see what we had to work with. On Saturday morning we fueled up on Ozo Coffee, pulled out our shovels, hoes, pitchforks, trowels, and snippers and went to town. Zoey was able to salvage some of the flowers and save some bulbs but for the most part the rest came out. Cedar bushes, gone; out of control mint, gone; overgrown grasses and ground cover, gone. Strangely, the hardest things to get out were the stakes that once supported the lone aspen tree we left standing. We dug and dug and dug and pulled and jostled and dug some more. Each of us had a turn at these things with our own particular methods. Zoey insisted on the up and down pull with a side to side jostle in between. Rebecca was intent on chiseling it out with a hammer and weeder tool. I was chipping away at the rock with the back of a hammer. It probably took two hours to get these ridiculous stakes out. But when the final one was pulled I held it aloft triumphantly, yelled something stupid and threw it down only to turn around and find our neighbors peering quizzically over the fence.
Things were starting to look good.
Sunday was a slow start as we were all pretty sore from the day before. We got some grasses from Sturtz & Copeland in town, got some mulch from Pioneer and headed back over.
Rebecca had brought with her some newfangled techniques from Oregon. She insisted we put our recycled Daily Camera to good use and use it as our first layer of mulch. Down went the paper, some more plants put in and then the mulch on top.
It would have been real nice if we had been prepared with some patio furniture and a pitcher of margs after all that but alas, we were just satisfied to have shaped up that bed. I can't wait to see how everything does this summer and fills out.
Special thanks to our visiting landscape hero, Rebecca Chance, for putting so much thought into how best to put our little patch of soil to better use.
Here's the before from about six weeks ago:
First order of business, clearing the old bed, weeds, stakes and other trash.
Good soil, check out the size of that worm!
In go the aspen clumps.
End of Day 1.
Rebecca's Oregonian methods of mulching with newspaper. I really hope it works because I don't want to be the one weeding this bed constantly.
The photos don't do it justice unfortunately. This patio looks and feels a gazillion times better than it did before. Even people who have casually stopped by since we started remark about how much nicer it is.
Our landscaping hero, Rebecca.