06 April 2017

Thoughts On Starting A Garden

An amazing garden that caught my eye in Friday Harbor, Washington State.

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul."
Alfred Austin

Since moving into our current house we have had little luck with a garden. We first put in a medium sized garden in the back corner of our yard, but the canopy of the trees offered insufficient sunlight and the proximity to the woods only welcomed deer, fox and rabbit to enjoy our bountiful spread. The next year we decided to expand away from the trees and add a small wire fence, but the animals still enjoyed the garden and the sunlight remained an issue. When Jonas got sick the last thing on my mind was tending a garden so it was put to the way-side.

It's been two years and we are eager to get our hands dirty and start planting. We decided to relocate the garden to the side of the house where the sunshine is abundant. Unfortunately, we were never able to utilize this space due to some overgrown scrubs and trees. We finally took the plunge, not really by choice, and had the bushes and trees removed, the stumps ground and new dirt brought in. The next step is to level the land and build a small wall to avoid the sloping hill. This will allow for a larger space right next to the house. After the wall is in place (and by "wall" I mean a cobblestone wall that is about a foot high) and the new soil added, we'll rototill and add nutrients into the dirt. Since the garden will be somewhat visible from the front of the house I'm trying to draw plans and create a versatile space that will be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. We've decided to tackle the animal problem by adding a black rod-iron fence around the space with a gated entrance that opens to the backyard and rustic cobblestones laid down for a path.

We've started brainstorming and the kids eagerly made a list of what they want to plant. Once we narrowed down that list to some realistic goals (sorry kiddos, avocados and mangos won't grow in Ohio) we can start focusing on seeds and where to purchase our seedlings. We've decided (tentatively) to plant: a variety of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, beets, peppers, kale, a variety of lettuce, beans, cantaloupe, eggplant and possibly a small patch of strawberries depending on space. I would love to add a couple dwarf fruit trees if the space allows; a fig tree, apple and pear.

We have our work cut out for us and this is a big project we're taking on but I'm ready! I miss having my own little space to grow fruits and vegetables for our family, plus gardening is a peaceful and stress-reducing activity to add into my day. Currently, our side-yard is a giant mud pit, but once the sunshines comes out and we can get to work I'll share some before, during and after pictures.

If you have any gardening suggestions I'm all ears! I've had several gardens in the past but I am always open to new ideas.

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