So what IS happening in my garden these days? Lots of flowers, not too much in the veggie department. I planted just under 200 spring flowering bulbs last fall and they didn’t disappoint. I’ve since planted even more bulbs and it will be fun to watch those come up over the summer.
Schematic for the new garden expansion.
It took a little convincing, but in the end I got the hubby to agree that we could do with less of the mossy lawn and benefit from a larger garden on the south side of the house. I then mapped out what I wanted using an online resource, The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Planner. It worked great, but unfortunately it’s only free for 30 days and after that it’s $25 US per year. My trial period ran out and I’ve not yet decided if I’m going to get the paid subscription. You can still view the details of my recent version online here: Garden Plan 2013, although I changed a few planting locations slightly and divided the large raised middle bed into 3 sections, the layout is pretty accurate.
Working on the newly expanded garden
The blueberries and raspberries are in their new homes and thriving! On the west side of the greenhouse we’ve got chives that survived the winter, along with a solitary Walla Walla onion that is growing like crazy and some red garlic has sprouted (but it looks like half of the crop simply rotted in the ground). The greenhouse is home to some over-wintered Parsley that will need replanting, as well as a couple of Rosemary plants and two strawberry pots that are already blossoming.
3 yds of topsoil destined for the back garden.
Earlier this week I had 3 yds of garden soil mix dropped on the front lawn, which hubby and I then schlepped into the back. He had earlier removed all the sod where the new beds will be and we took turns breaking up the heavy (mostly clay) soil that remained. I’ve been tilling the new and old together this week BY HAND (because the cost of renting a rototiller was way more than I wanted to spend). If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably already seen these images but I’m posting them as a record of how we’re doing so far.
Today included a trip into one of the local nurseries as many of my seed packets were getting past their prime.Tomorrow will be spent transplanting tomato seedlings out into their greenhouse home (probably until the end of May), mixing the last of new soil into the new beds, and inoculating peas for planting in the garden. I’m also seeding some herbs that will live in the greenhouse until the weather truly warms up and the rains recede.
Garden Tip: Plant Sweet Alyssum in your vegetable garden to attract more Ladybugs and control aphids in the garden! (via: Kitchen Food Garden – April 10, 2013)
You would know when you were entering my dream garden by the perfect gated entrance. Stepping through, you’d find yourself looking out over a space with just the right mix of shady and sunny places planted with everything from bright drifts of spring bulbs and summer annuals to lush green ferns, astilbe and lily-of the-valley.
There would be winding paths that looked like they went on forever. Reflecting pools, benches and other seating tucked away in places that invite a weary gardener to take time to read or just sit and enjoy the view. I’m not one for a lot of tchotchkes so you wouldn’t find a lot of little knick knacks. That’s not saying my dream garden would be devoid of these things, but don’t expect a full-on fairy garden or a family of garden gnomes.
I would never run out of space or time and my garden would be a feast for all the senses. Pots of tomatoes, tall stands of corn and arbors overflowing with scarlet runner beans, cucumbers and sweet peas would all have their own special place. Raised beds of squash and pumpkin would live along with blueberries and strawberries that would never need to worry about slugs or other pests.
Did I mention the greenhouse?
The greenhouse would be nothing short of spectacular; housing seedlings, cuttings and maybe even an exotic orchid or two and benches perfectly aligned for transplanting and repotting. Twinkle lights hanging from the ceiling would glow like stars in the evening light and the fragrance of flowers fresher than any perfume would fill the air.
Lastly – an awesome water feature; because what self-respecting dream garden wouldn’t have one or possibly even TWO? For me it goes without saying that one of those water features would have to be my awesome umbrella frog added in 2012. He’ll always have a place of honour in the garden.
I thought several times about adding photos to this post, either of my own garden or some of the things I’ve saved to Pinterest that inspire me. I opted for no photos in the final version and hope that my writing will be enough to paint a picture in the reader’s imagination.
This blog post is a result of:
Prompt #2: Dream Garden
I grew up in a gardening family. My paternal grandfather had an amazing garden full of flowers, vegetables, fruit trees and berry bushes. He had a goldfish pond (and threatened the grandchildren with unpleasant things if we dared harm those fish). The very back of his property was a favourite spot because it contained Salmonberry bushes and he didn’t care how many we picked and ate, whereas he did limit us when it came to his other crops. If you’ve not heard of Salmonberries you probably don’t live on the west coast of North America. The fruit is almost raspberry like in appearance, but the colour is a deep golden yellow to a deep orange-red. They are luscious, sweet, juicy and the very best kind of berry to offer up to hungry grandchildren!
My childhood home contained a good-size vegetable garden that Mom tended diligently. That space harboured a plentiful supply of peas, beans, beets, spinach, potatoes and peas that were picked and preserved, as well as strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and a big ol’ cherry tree. She grew the food crops out of necessity; her real love was her flowers, and that remains true even today.
When I moved out on my own it was apartment living for a lot of years and I sorely missed digging in the dirt. This was before the days of community gardens. For several years I lived not too far from my paternal grandpa and would occasionally stop by after work for a cold glass of lemonade on the back deck and a tour of the garden. My Grandmother had passed away, he was remarried and his new wife (my step-grandma) was as funny and kind as my grandma had been. I adored them both.
I love going to plant nurseries and gardens just to walk around and take it all in. A couple of years ago my hubby and I went to Vancouver Island with his sister and her husband, who were visiting us from Ontario. One of the things we did was tour Butchart Gardens. What an amazing place! This was one of B.C.’s rare “heat wave” summers and we went early enough in the day to be able to enjoy it all without dying from heat stroke.
resting in the garden
I think I could have stayed all day, wandering around and taking photos but my companions weren’t quite as enthusiast. This is a favourite photo I took while they took a little break and I continued experimenting with my camera.