Well, after the first 2 sessions pulling up and cutting the garden path carpet, I attacked it again today after a day's rest. Fortunately, I got better at it as I went along. I scraped soil and vines off the top, used my flat spade to cut along the edges, wore leather gloves to make it easier to pull vines loose, and also used the spade to slide under the carpet to pry it up loose from roots.
I finished the carpet removal today (well, there is some left but it is outside of my project area). As in all projects, you get good at the hardest parts by the time you are done. I should mention the spade. Years ago, I found an all metal spade for sale and bought one. The first one bent and the seller was shocked but replaced it as having a defect. The replacement has lasted 15 years or so and seems indestructable. I love using it!
And I should also mention that, yeah, I could hire some guys to do this work. I could afford it, and if I found the right people, they might even do the job better. But the point is to actually do the work myself. Meaning no disrespect, but following the very good logic of hiring people to do gardening work, I should just shop at the grocery stores and farmers markets. But I mostly garden for the pleasure of the effort (even when sometimes the effort seems overwhelming) because the harvest is more satisfying.
I don't garden to save money. It is nearly impossible to beat a commercial farm for efficiency of cost. But I have never been able to buy a Cherokee Purple or Brandywine tomato that tasted as good as one straight from the garden. And the same is true of much corn and other crops. Some crops, I can't find anywhere.
And I have to have something productive to do. I suppose that if I wasn't gardening, I would be building birdhouses, raising tropical fish, or constructing string art. Something...
My preference is to grow things. And that takes WORK! This garden enclosure is likely to be one of the last major yard projects (I do still want to renovate my 8' circular fish pond too). So doing this before I get too old to try is important.
I'm being careful. I do hard work for 15-30 minutes and I stop for an hour to rest. I have a good sense of "how much is too much". I have always avoided "work til you drop". In a way, that is just showing off, and it is risky.
Projects aren't competitions. They are goals with purposes. My purpose in this project is to establish a limited, well-organized gardening area free of squirrel, groundhog, and rabbit destruction.
I have thought about how to change my existing 8'x3' beds into the longer (more efficient) 16"x4' beds. Dreams are wonderful things. I woke up suddenly a couple nights ago realizing that the two 4'x4' beds were exactly within the space I needed for the first 16'x4' bed. I just need to dig/chop out the tree saplings and fading 20 year old rose bushes for one and pot up the herbs from the other (for later replanting).
Then I can build the first (of three) 16'x4' frame around them and start transferring soil from the other 8'x3' beds to that one. Then I can break apart those old frames (of the emptied beds) and build the other two 16'x4' framed beds. Those framed beds will need new soil (I will have used up most all my existing soil in the 1st framed bed).
When the beds are built and filled, I can construct the enclosed structure around them (he said with unsupported confidence, LOL!). That part should be a lot easier...
And I figure I have about 2 weeks to do that before planting season gets too late. Wish me luck!