Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's Garden Planning Time!

I love this time of year.  It's not quite time to do the garden work - you know - digging, hauling, raking, mulching, dirt encased under the fingernails...  But it is time to dream and plan like crazy.  Last year, we had a deck built off the back of our house.  I can't wait to see if the extra sun space will give me enough room to grow our family veggies for the summer.  The first step is to install some hanging hooks to hang these nifty upside-down tomato bags.  Next, we will look into building deck planters to thinly line the deck for lettuces and other various greens.  Above those, we will have off-railing planters for flowers, herbs and other lovelies.  I have yet to find the large 1/2 barrels for things like cucumbers and squash to grow either as bushes or up poles.  
I have most of the sun in the front yard.  So far, all we have planted have been herbs and flowers.  Perhaps this is the year we actually turn over more of the grass to plant larger plants such as pole beans, larger tomato plants and (could we?) corn.  I would really like to try fingerling potatoes in buckets, so these may go up to the deck as well.  The hottest part of our property seems to be the driveway, which many people use, but well...maybe we'll just have to squeeze just out a bit more space.  
Down the side of the house, lining the driveway, we planted a couple of blueberry bushes.  Though we didn't expect it, we did get a small handful of berries this past year, and hope for more as the years move along.
We go to a local non-profit group in May for our heirloom vegetable plants each year.  It's a great sale, only $4 per 4" plant or 6 pack.  There are so many amazing and hard to find herbs that have found homes in my garden over the years.  I enjoy adding more to the beds every year.
One of my favorite parts of our garden is the creeping phlox that is just beginning to hang over our rock wall out front.  Every spring, visitors are met with an explosion of color as they walk up our walkway, pink, white, dark red, spilling over the wall, reaching for the ground.  When we first moved to this house 10 years ago, I saw a yard filled with phlox in the neighborhood, with the phlox growing every which way, and spilling over a wall.  I knew right then I wanted that too, so off to the garden shop I went for my little plants.  I bought 7 phlox babies, and when I got them into the ground, I thought they'd never grow big enough to spill over the wall.  But now, 10 years later, they are spilling away in a lovely manner.  
So much joy is gained in making food for one's family.  Watching things bud and bloom brings light to the heart.  And the effort involved in making the yard beautiful is so good for us - out in the sun, breaking a sweat.  So good.  I love spring.

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