Dreaming of Gardening

| 1/12/2015 11:58:00 AM

Karrie SteelyEven though spring is a few months away, this time of year my thoughts turn to garden planning and seeds. Now is the time to start, because I always try something different each year. When I stand out in the garden on a bleak January day like today, it’s hard to imagine how lush and verdant it all is in the height of the summer. Leafing through seed catalogs and looking at photographs of my garden from last season helps to kick start my enthusiasm.

winter arch 

summer garden

My garden started as an experiment with raised beds in a semi-shady small suburban yard. Most soil in developments and subdivisions is terrible because it is mainly compacted fill dirt. In addition, in our area the soil has a lot of clay in it, which makes it that much worse.

So I built several raised beds from things I bought at a second-hand store for construction materials. One was just a sturdy cabinet laid on its back with the back removed. I filled them with composted horse, chicken and goat manure mixed with topsoil, sand and organic material. They have done phenomenally, even in the partial shade. I put together a drip irrigation system through all of this so that I could be as efficient with the water as possible.  

Every year I modify or add structure, more beds or trellises. One year I built a simple cold frame by creating a frame out of two layers of 2-by-6s, and adding glass-paned cabinet doors with a hinge to the top. I was able to plant spring greens a month earlier and keep plants going a month later in the fall this way. It was super easy! During the warm months I simply removed the cabinet doors from the top so that it wouldn’t get too hot.

1/18/2015 7:45:35 AM

Karrie, with the holiday season over my thoughts always turn toward spring and gardening. Seed magazines have been coming in with regularity now and preparation for starting seed in my seed starting station is almost about to begin. Last year was a good year for starting seeds but just not for gardening. This year I have backup plans to the backup plans. Plans for a portion of the garden to be portable to deal with a late frost if it happens will be in place this year. A late May frost two weeks after the last frost date for my area killed everything last year. Then the end of June large hail and high winds killed everything again. I'll be ready for extreme conditions this year. ***** Have a great spring garden anticipation day.

1/13/2015 9:48:45 AM

I was very much impressed when I came across this garden. Thanks for your innovative ideas and thoughts. Having a container pots with lovely flowers can add an elegant touch to your backyards. The gardening around the boundaries definitely brings a fresh ambiance to your space. Thanks for nice capture.

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