home, sweet (too much work to do) home

We've been wanting to take the large, flat area near the house that used to hold the kids play structure and turn it into a garden.  Today we finally got started, though didn't make as much progress as I'd have liked.  Turns out I can only do this kind of stuff for an hour before I get all weak kneed and have to sit down.  But at least we got the area laid out.  Here's what we did:
So you know what it used to look like, here's a shot (taken from the deck) from several years ago when the kids actually used the play structure:
25 of 30: sunny days

We got rid of the play structure a while back and turned the sandbox into a strawberry planter a couple months ago. Today we just had to empty out and move the small playhouse.  Then we ripped up all the artificial turf, turned it over to dump out all the sand that migrated from the kids sandbox, and freaked out about a million ants.  Here's what it looks like, ready for inspiration, a blank canvas (if you will):
cleared
I then figured out where I wanted the greenhouse to go and then traced back a three foot path all the way across the garden.
laying out the path
The greenhouse will go at the far right.
I traced a line from the path entering the garden to the back, this one closer to two feet wide.
sketching out the path
After that we dropped in a 6 foot wide circle to put a center planter in and then gave it an extra two feet circle around that for the path.
drawing out the center circle planter laying out the path
With the vertical & horizontal path outlined in and the double circle drawn in the middle, the shape of our "boxes" became obvious.  From there, we gathered up a bunch of smooth rocks and blocked out the shapes, leaving the circular planter in the middle for later.  We’re teaching a garden class at the end of the month so will have the kids attending help us lay out the center circular garden bed, but all the side ones are outlined and now just need to be built up with cobble.  You can get the basic idea of the shape by looking at this:
basic outline

Most of the pictures were taken from a lovely little spot in the shade of some trees.  I'm hoping to put a table and chairs there so we can gaze lovingly at our beautiful garden once it's done.  There is still a TON of work before we can call it done and drop the seedlings into their homes, but today marked a really good first step!