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New Garden

May 2, 2014
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I’m a little late in showing pictures of our new vegetable garden, but this way you can see all the changes at once.

When we moved in last summer, the yard had many beautiful perennial gardens, but the area next to the deck was a jungle of random plants.  Onions, dill, bleeding hearts, iris, hostas, more dill, sun flowers, and did I mention dill?  It was an overgrown mess and while we loved waking up the fresh scent of dill on breezy summer mornings, it wasn’t the most efficient or aesthetic use of precious yard space.

After whiling away many lovely mornings and afternoons on the deck, tea in hand, in the name of “research”, I determined this patch of yard was perfect for the vegetable garden.  Close enough to the house that we’d only have to add anti-rabbit fencing along two sides, lots of sun, and super close to the kitchen door and water.  (This was crucial, as walking an extra 12 steps would make gardening too labor intensive.)  I designed 6 raised beds, planning to put the cool season veggies like lettuce where they’ll get shade from the house by 3pm, and to plant tomatoes and peppers in the section that stays sunny longer.

2013-08-31 002In August, Kyle removed the smoke bush (which sadly didn’t survive the transplant) and we flattened the rest of the vegetation under layers of cardboard.

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The boys were great helpers when it was time to build the raised beds.  Everything comes together more smoothly with bubbles.

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The hardest part was getting yards of dirt up the hill to the backyard.  With some help from neighbors and the boys, we filled the boxes.

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We filled in the paths with mulch and an assortment of patio stones we’d never gotten around to using in Milton and had dragged to Madison “just in case”.

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Kyle built a gate and installed a fence while the boys and I were away for spring break.  What a treat to return home to a garden that’s ready to go!

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The arugula seeds I smooshed into the still-frozen soil came up 2 weeks ago, and I planted lots of lettuce, pea, spinach, kale, swiss chard, bok choy, and scallion seeds before the last week of rainy weather.  Asparagus and currants have also been planted.  The boys are sharing a bed of their own, and Pea chose to plant carrots (and cherry tomatoes later).  Tea wants to grow cucumbers and radishes.  We still need to build something to support the climbers, but otherwise the garden is pretty much set until it’s warm enough to add seedlings in a few weeks.  I ordered row covers to experiment with.

I wanted to add a touch of color to the gate but wasn’t quite ready to relinquish complete artistic freedom to my messy boys, so I had them draw the vegetables of their choice and label them.  I then painted their drawings.   Yes, I should probably have just let them go nuts with the paint, but I couldn’t bring myself to.  The result was garden art that we are all happy with.

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gate collage

Now if the sun would just come out, we’d be in business.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 3, 2014 9:19 am

    That looks SO awesome! I LOVE IT! I wish I had some raised beds like that! And I LOVE the drawings/paintings! It’s okay that you finished them. That way it’s a joint project. I wish you lived closer and you could teach us how to do handy things like that!

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  1. This *was* my garden | Knots, Weeds, and Library Fines

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