Monday, October 28, 2013

A year later ... the garden is reborn.

I realize as I write this my last post was exactly a year ago. A lot has changed and I'm ready to get this blog rolling again. Shortly after that post I realized it was time to re-evaluate the entire garden. As fall approached, I began to plan big dreams. We'd finished remodeling most of the cottage and were ready to tackle the garden. I spent two years observing what worked and what didn't with the existing garden. In the summer, all was great, with lots of sun in our south facing beds. Here it is at its' full glory in 2012.

Early summer in 2012. Two beds rebuilt, eight more to go.
But come winter, it was a different story. Three giant red cedar trees border the south side of our garden and shade most of the raised beds in the winter leaving not many beds with enough sunlight to grow what I wanted. We had two other big issues: too much thirsty lawn and gophers. After losing way too many plants and creating ankle twisting lumps on the pathways, it was time to solve the gopher problem once and for all. Here is a peek of what the garden looked like the week we moved in back in 2011.

The gopher ate that artichoke the next year, all in one gulp.
In April, we found a friend who just happens to be a garden designer, Andrea Gara, who was able to draft a basic plan for us. I then layered it with my own ideas to come up with a great new, modern garden divided into seven areas, which I'll cover in detail soon. Here are several photos of the remodel with before pictures that follow. We hired Waldron Landscaping for the remodel. They've been our gardeners for the past two years and have done a wonderfully professional job on this project.

The coveted white peach tree became the center point
of the new vegetable garden. The ellipse bed that surrounds it
will hold lots of perennials and strawberries to attract the birds and bees.

The peach tree surrounded by water thirsty lawn.
Compared to before, there is a lot less green at the moment but the gravel area will be surrounded with annuals and perennials to attract bees and birds come spring. There's a lot of planting to do!

The southside beds after. The fruit trees become more of
a focus now lining the gravel area. There is room in the back
for a large dining table.
The southside beds before.
 The aesthetic is more in line with the original bones of the cottage, which are mid-century modern (the house was built in 1949) and also reflect my minimalist style. Plus, no more gophers poking their heads up mid path.

Looking north at the ten raised beds framing the white peach.
Getting ready to start over, the landscapers spared my tomato plants
until the very last moment. I thought that was a nice gesture.
Pretty soon these new beds will be filled in with a winter crop. I'm cutting it close this year, I'm already weeks behind so hopefully we'll have some this year. More on what I'm planting soon. It doesn't help to have a flu and seasonal allergies on the first weekend of major planting.

In coming posts, I'll talk about the different areas of the garden, the beds and all of the Pinterest inspiration I've discovered. I have big goals for this blog too. One of the things I noticed when researching edible garden design is the dirth of great images. I'm hoping to share some successful projects from other edible gardeners here. It's going to be a busy growing year.

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