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Gardening! - Page 4

post #61 of 278

I will take some photos and post.  Our yard is a mess after returning from our trip, but we are slowly trying to get it back in shape!  It's also tiny, but it might give you some ideas.


Your yard is going to be awesome!


We have a TON of rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks.  They eat our blueberries and tomatoes, but seem to leave the kale, swiss chard, herbs, and non-tender greens alone.  My husband built some beautiful miter-edged garden boxes and set them on top of Belgian block.  The total height is probably 15" or so.  The rabbits don't bother jumping in (they go after the roses, hosta, and coneflower instead), but the squirrels get in and go for the tomatoes.  We might end up draping the tomatoes with mesh and see if that helps.  A local farmer told me that aluminum pie plates on wooden stakes is how they keep animals out of their beds.

If you don't like herb containers, I would plant some herbs around the base of the tree in your backyard.  I would do it in a circle to break up the squares and rectangles elsewhere and edge it nicely with an edging tool.  Or plant a boxwood hedge in a circle. I don't think small animals are likely to bother your herbs too much.  Another nice idea for that tree would be a wildflower copse.  Your kids would love the butterflies and bees, and would give you a constant supply of fresh cut flowers.  Or hang a simple, sweet rope swing from the tree with no plantings underneath?


I thought of bean teepees because kids like to go inside them.  You could put a few tree stumps inside for  the kids to sit on.   We are training a weeping cherry to have enough room for tree stumps underneath.  It's very cute.


I think it would be really pretty to add some lavender or Russian sage to flank the entrance to your raised bed area to "invite" you into the space.  Like creating "rooms" in your yard.


Obviously, I like pretty more than function!!!   I'm sure you'll get better, functional advice from the other ladies!!!!! thumb.gif

post #62 of 278
Thread Starter 

What a cool idea to build veggie teepees that are large enough for kids to go inside! 


My neighbor uses some stinky stuff made from coyote pee or something to deter the rabbits.  It seems to work, but she doesn't have a bunch of lettuce, either.  I don't think we have to worry too much about the rabbits with raised and mounded beds, but the squirrels...  Hmmm... I wonder if I could construct just better tomato cages to deter them.  I dunno.


Can't wait to see your pics!


Someone on another forum suggested huckleberries beneath the tree!  Also, edible ferns and wild ginger.  All great ideas, so I'm going to try those along with some greens and see what I get to grow.

post #63 of 278
Thread Starter 

Okay, Anthea, you inspired me to think outside my box a bit.  So now I have an idea for a front yard children's garden with pea teepees, flowers, little paths, berries, and an outdoor tic tac toe game that I saw on my friend's blog.  Here's the new plan...



post #64 of 278

Jaimee -- I LOVE, LOVE the new design!  It's amazing what a few simple changes can do!!!  The only thought that hit me was maybe placing the teepees across from one another to balance out the circle?  I can't see what else is going in the front yard circle, and maybe you have a good reason for placing the teepees where you did based on what things will look like on the ground. 

post #65 of 278
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  The round, black circle is a light on a pole that I can't move.  I may only have one teepee and put a berry bush in one section instead... or something else if it comes to mind.  I'm reading Gaia's Garden right now and it's giving me even more ideas.  Carey (from this group) is coming over tomorrow to help me envision what else I might do.  I think it needs filling in... like a more cohesive idea with more things to create flow and like you said, "rooms" outdoors.  It's just really hard for me to see.  Plus, I realized through my reading that my four 6x20' beds will likely feed 20 people.  I do plan to can, freeze, etc. but I wasn't thinking about just how much there would be.  I may decrease the size of the vegetable garden, leaving room if I want to increase it later.  Not sure.  I'm also considering a keyhole idea, well, more like a bunch of keyholes put together in a more circular pattern of some sort.  Again, the problem is fencing.  I just can't seem to figure out how to get the garden I want with a stupid, floppy, wire fence around it.  Argh.  Yesterday I saw a rabbit come out from under our deck (where more may be living) and a squirrel try to hide nuts in one of our patio chairs.  Sigh...

post #66 of 278

Jaimee -- How did your garden planning go with Carey?!?  Sounds like so much fun!  Do you still need some inspiration photos?

post #67 of 278
Thread Starter 

Anthea, thanks for checking in!  It was really  nice to have Carey over and bounce ideas off of her.  She helped me to see some new things and most importantly, she made me feel better about the fencing issue that was really holding me back.  She suggested that I just try it without a fence and see what happens for one growing season, fencing in things that are getting eaten as the season progresses. So if my tomatoes are getting eaten, make better tomato cages, etc.  So I'm going with boarder-less beds, which means I can make those rounded ones!  Yay!  And in the front yard where I have the children's garden she suggested I put a boarder of wood chips around it and fill in the corners with ground cover, flowers, etc. instead of solid wood chips.  I had been thinking of espalier trees along my privacy fence and she suggested I keep things simpler, less work, and stick to dwarf trees and berry bushes.  So I added in a berry hedge along the privacy fence.  I also added in fruit trees along the north fence, which will act a bit as a wind barrier, moving the raspberries to the corner where they can more easily be contained.  I put an herb spiral by the back door, though I'm not sure that's the best location for it since it won't get morning sun.  I may need to rethink that one.  At any rate, it was really great to walk through everything with Carey... big thanks to her!! 


I've been working, working, working on scooping up all the landscaping rocks that the builders put in all the the plant beds around the house.  SO annoying!!  But I'm done scooping out the blueberry beds, finally!  We cut down the boxwoods along the front of our house and I'll be scooping them out next.  We have also accumulated several downed trees and large branches, which are piled where the vegetable garden is going.  Next step there is to outline the beds, lay the wood down where it is supposed to be and start filling it in.  I'm excited!!!  Things are moving forward slowly!  Here's the new layout:




And yes, I'd still love to see pics if you have them!  :)

post #68 of 278

Jaimee, how is it going with your yard?  I agree with Carey.  Just go for it, and don't worry about the rabbits.  And simple is good, but it's nice to have a dream, right?  But don't let the dream bog you down.  Back to the rabbits...We lost some coneflower, hosta, and roses to the rabbits, but they really pretty much left our veggies alone.  Okay, here are some photos of my front yard.  Now you can see that I love circles so much.  You can't tell from the photos, but the Black Eyed Susans are gorgeous.  Will post some from the messy backyard in a minute.













post #69 of 278

Okay, here are the shots from the back yard.  The photos look awful.  Hmmmm...it looks nicer in person, but oh well.  My husband is going to install an arbor beyond the garden boxes so the roses can climb on something, but he hasn't gotten to it yet.  We also are planning to put in a swing in the very back next to the butterfly house.  So, the back is a work in progress.  The large area of pavers (where the dining set is located) was required by our Town.  They wanted us to have space to park two cars.  It was so stupid.  But we had to do it.  Obviously, we don't park our cars there.  I planted a bunch of creeping thyme in between the pavers, and they are really starting to take hold.  The smell is amazing out there.  Again, a major work in progress!











post #70 of 278

And finally, Jaimee, here are some inspiration shots for you.  These are from my husband's cousin's cottage in England (check out the thatch roof!).  The boxwood entrance to her home is amazing; I love the photo of my daughter walking through it.  There are boxwoods all over her property with little hobbit holes cut into them, big enough only for a child to enter the boxwood.  So sweet!  And her backyard garden with fish pond keeps the kids entertained for hours.  They don't want to leave!  They spend hours catching fish and tadpoles.  I love her pyramid-shaped dining table under that gorgeous arbor.  It is really a special garden.  And the vegetable garden is out of this world.  It is completely hidden, so when you walk through the gate and find yourself in a veggie garden, it's like walking into some magic world.  Keep us posted!!!!





post #71 of 278
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all those lovely pictures, Anthea!!  I really appreciate you taking the time to post and help me think through  my garden.  Your home and yard are beautiful!  I love the flowers along the white fence and I really like how neat and orderly everything looks.  My yard will not be so neat and orderly since my beds will lean into the permaculture range and be more "wild" looking.  But other parts of the yard could be more neat... I'll have to think how I might accomplish that.... step by step. 


Anyway, progress is happening, but it's slow b/c I can only work at it about 45 minutes at a time.  So I've cleared out the rocks from one side of the house and now I'm working on the front of the house.  We hacked down the box woods and several small trees and shrubs, collected some downed trees from our area, and are slowly gathering other supplies.   I just found an arborist that will give me as many wood chips as I'd like for free if I come scoop and haul.  I'm game for the manual labor, but we don't have a truck!  I'm going to have to rent one or barter with my neighbor to use his.  Sigh...  The city landscaping center finally will release free logs after September 1st when the ash borer infestation dies out.  So that's good news, too.


But my dh hurt his back on vacation, so he can't lift or scoop anything right now.  Everything will have to wait a few weeks to come together.  I hate waiting, but it will give me more time to scoop rocks out of the beds around the house first so we can do everything at once.  Slowly...

post #72 of 278

Beautiful yard Anthea!  I hope everyone's gardens are thriving with the heat this summer.  My garden is currently being maintained by my friend (whose mostly just eating the veggies).  I certainly do miss it.

post #73 of 278
Thread Starter 

Due to the recent storm and all the downed trees it caused, the electric company dropped by with 11 cubic yards of wood chips yesterday!  I have been out laying cardboard, scooping, dumping, and raking non-stop.  Well, as non-stop as 3 kids allow me to be!  It's coming along!

post #74 of 278
Thread Starter 

Laying out the garden beds... Avery supervises



Logs in the hugelkultur beds, pile of brush ready to go on top, cardboard and wood chips going down for the garden paths



Overhead view of beds with just the logs



Overhead view of beds with brush on top (the screen on my window made this one blurry)



Stick fence in progress



Next step, fill in with brown and green debris then top with finished compost and soil!

post #75 of 278

Very cool Jaimee!

post #76 of 278

Fun!! I love that!


I JUST pinned a stick fence on Pinterest! I SOOO want to do that in our yard! 

post #77 of 278
Thread Starter 

I just finished up a giant seed order with my buying club.  I was able to get tons of different crops and varieties by splitting packets with my group members.  I also placed an order for blueberry bushes and raspberries and dwarf apple, pear, peach, and nectarine trees.  I'm so excited!!!


So, what are all your plans for the garden in the month of February?   Here are some ideas from my friend and expert gardener:

I plan to start the following indoors in February:

I will try direct sowing the following later in the month:

What about you?


Here's the garden beds after we got them covered in dirt back in October:



And here they are now, hopefully decomposing away inside and generating some heat so I can plant out earlier!

post #78 of 278
I have old seeds. I have tiny beds, so I'm going to use them a little more densely and cross my fingers.

I need to go through my seeds and see what i have. I mostly eat greens and tomatoes out of the garden.
post #79 of 278

We are planning over here, too! We are going to build some more beds in the backyard. I have a list of the things we want to try. I am going to order seeds this week and get them started in egg cartons inside.

post #80 of 278
I'm envious of all this gardening talk. I miss my gardens!
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