Saturday, December 31, 2011

A new year, a new garden and a new blog

When is the right time to start a garden blog? In the middle of winter when the garden is at its' slowest? Yes! This is when our minds are dreaming about what can be. This is when the seed catalogs arrive and gardeners all over are planning out the next year. It's an exciting time for any gardener.

This pear tree often blooms in November so I've read.
We've lived in San Francisco for the past thirteen years, surrounded by fog and cold and growing what we can in that sort of climate. We are lucky to have a small 500 square foot yard in the city, although half of it is shrouded in shade from a neighbor's house. I grow what I can in that tiny patch but as you can see it's a bit maxed out. I also don't enjoy layering on sweaters every time I step outside in the summer.

Our tiny San Francisco garden at its' peak on one of those rare sunny days.
Last September, we realized a dream to have a large garden with plenty of sun and heat to grow our own food. The only catch is we can only visit it on the weekends and over the summer. Is it possible to grow an edible garden only on the weekends? I'm not sure, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

The first weekend settling in, we have our first little harvest of figs, blackberries and apples.
We do have a slight advantage with this garden. Okay, perhaps huge is a better word. You see, this backyard was created a few years ago by two passionate gardeners. The bonus? They blogged, blogged and blogged all about it here. The bizarre thing is I read their blog a couple of years ago when I was dreaming big dreams about gardening in warmer climates. They have moved onto a larger property and continue to write a wonderful blog about their new garden. On top of having a great reference of what grows in my new backyard I also inherited a fantastic property, full of fruit trees and the most beautiful compost piles one could hope for. I thank them and hope to make this garden thrive as well as they did.

Looking west at the vegetable garden in January. A weeping Santa Rosa plum is off to the left.
The garden was left to itself for about six months during the peak of summer but the basic structure is still there. Twenty-two raised beds just waiting to be planted with yummy veggies. Fruit trees surround the raised beds. I think I'll go into shock when they start producing this summer as it will be the same time to harvest all those summer vegetables.

The eastern half of the vegetable garden in January.
I've started this blog to help me chart the progress I hope to make over the coming years. Being a visual person, I need something like this to keep me organized. I look forward to sharing the journey and hope to learn a few things along the way.


  1. HELLO ~ gosh, shall I be the first to comment? well then, just to say you can do whatever your heart intends! Jump in - gamble, take risks - then accept losses, learn from each. I can't tell you how much I understand your desire, your drive! I lived in (that fog and cold) SF for many years, then the (hot) East bay for a few more...with no place to have my own garden. Then, moved to the Pacific acreage...and the opportunity to realize some long standing gardening dreams. My goodness, it's been daunting [slight understatement.] Kathryn, BRAVO. oh gosh girl, just go for it. You won't regret a single moment.

  2. Wow! How wonderful to have a history of your new gardens old bounty!

    My mother is an avid gardener of both flower and vegetable. Her yard is filled with narrow grassy paths that wind around eye popping wonder year round. One path leads to her fenced in vegetable garden with stone pathways and raised beds and in the summer it is absolute paradise. Despite my efforts, I have not inherited her knack and have proven to be a pretty dismal gardener. Maybe I will learn something from watching your efforts! I look forward to following along with you on your journey, and wish you much joy and success!

  3. Beautiful posts!
    I've started gardening as well. I am going to try the hay-bale approach and love, love Baker Creek seeds. I'm so glad to have found you!

  4. passing on a garden is like leaving green footprints...and inherited compost heaps some of the best treasure you could wish for

    happy growing!

  5. Thanks for the 'first' comments, everyone! It sounds like the gardening bug has bit a lot of us these days! And yes, that compost is GOLD to me!