Blogger with good intentions

“Blogger with good intentions” should definitely be the name of this blog because I failed miserably at making ANY posts about the garden once it got going. It just seemed there was never any time for anything other than posting the odd photo on Instagram or Facebook. So to the handful of people who bookmarked this blog, and the few that occasionally message me to ask “why aren’t you posting?” – I apologize.

gardenbellIt’s getting on to fall now and I am getting ready to put the garden to bed for the winter. I thought about being a year round gardener but then I realized that as someone who hates to be wet or cold that would be a really unpleasant thing to attempt!

What I will do instead is make the effort to post more here over the next little while about what worked (and didn’t) in the garden of 2013. I will add some photos and show a little of our plans for next year for both the front and back yards. I will talk about my knitting, which is fully underway again, and my attempts to do better meal planning than I’ve been doing over the summer.

What’s happening in the garden now?

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.

garden expansion 2013

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.

garden expansion

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.

top soil

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)

My Dream Garden

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:
Grow Write Guild
Prompt #2: Dream Garden