My grandmother has always had a beautiful garden. She really knew how to get the most out of every flower and plant.
I, however, do not share that gift.
When we bought our house it was winter. I didn’t see the rather extensive gardens. But one thing I am good at is research. So I searched the internet and found a bunch perennial plants that look good with basically no maintenance. Perfect!
We recently had a retaining wall in our yard rebuilt. The previous owners had laid down some sort of ground cover and it had grown through the wall, causing it to come apart. I’ve never liked that part of our yard, but getting rid of the ground cover would have required a ton of work or lots of icky chemicals.
The wall being rebuilt has taken care of that and now I have a gorgeous area for a new garden. Not that there’s any indication that I’m capable of managing a new garden…
I don’t know about where you live, but around here there’s a pretty strong homesteading movement. Lots of people have edible gardens, chickens and even a few goats. I have to admit the idea sounds appealing, but I don’t want to get in over my head and waste a lot of time and money. And let’s be honest, I’m sure I’m romanticizing the whole idea in my head.
I decided to start small. The garden in front of the wall is going to be flowers. The garden behind will be fruits and veggies. I also decided to build a strawberry tower (I’ll include instructions in a later post) because my family LOVES strawberries!
First, check out the area. We used Brother’s Outdoor Services and are very happy with how it came out.
I actually started looking up gardening ideas last summer and discovered Square Foot Gardening. It seemed like a great way to get started and have a productive garden. Personally I like a little space in my gardens, especially between flowers, so I may leave an empty square foot here and there or thin plants more than Mel would.
Also, the soil mix suggested by Mel, while fantastic, is really expensive. Our new gardens would cost about $400 just for soil and that’s just not a big enough budget priority right now to justify the expense. But I did want some quality soil around my plants.
What I decided to do is put Mel’s mix in the holes with the seeds or plant roots. You can see the mix is the almost black soil, the rest is topsoil. I also plan to fill the strawberry tower with it since the whole 6′ tower is only 1 cubic foot.
My goals for this year are actually pretty simple:
- Don’t kill the plants.
- Get some measure of edible food from the garden.
- Involve Miss O in the care of the garden and picking (whilst teaching her not to eat all the half-ripe fruits and veggies).
Surprisingly, the one I’m least certain about is number 3. I want this garden to go well, but I also want it to be fun for us to work on together… it’s a delicate balance. In the first 24 hours she had already pulled a raspberry cane out of the ground.
Keep your fingers crossed for us! I’ll update as the summer goes on and will hopefully have lots of yummy produce to show you all.
Do you keep an edible garden? Tell me about it in the comments.
Linked up at Frugal Friday