Thursday, November 12, 2015


While I have been working up stairs in my studio, trying to get caught up on some Christmas projects, my mind has been on my gardens.  Most specifically next years gardening season.  I have been reading gardening articles, searching stories on prairie gardening, and listening to neighbours and others in this area talk about their gardens.

Sometimes I work at my little school desk from the 40's which sits in the kitchen in front of the window looking out to the back yard.  Truth be told, I really don't get much done there, because I can't take my eyes off the yard outside.  There is so much I want to do to this part of the yard, I hope that this time next year, it won't look anything like it does right now!

Here is what I see when I look out my window from my seat at my little school desk.  Well it is not looking this sunny or green anymore, but I just want you to see the blank slate I am working with.

This is a side yard, we call it the back yard.  It is bordered on the west by three huge Blue Spruce trees and then a row of Karaganda Hedge, which actually takes up a good 6 ft of our property and continues across the back around to the east side and all around are whole property.

The spruce trees most likely will have to go, as they are creating a very acidic garden especially this fall, the ground is covered with pine needles and cones from all the wind and rain we have had. With those trees gone, we can then move the hedge back 6 ft to the property line, creating even a larger area to work in.

  Inside the border of hedge is a very large lawn, and a  huge garden in the shape of a L.  Aside from a few flowers and way too many strawberry plants growing in the garden, it is a blank space.

My brain has been working overtime since we moved here.  I was so tempted to start digging and changing the yard, but something told me to live with it, and take note of things - like where the sun rests at different times of the day; where long periods of shade are; how the wind moves through the yard.  I also gave the garden a chance to show me if there were any perennial type plants that might show up without intervention from me - and I wasn't disappointed!

So I have been watching, and journaling all of that information.  I also have made lists of the things that I know I want to see when I look out in my yard, and what I want to grow.

I want a frog pond... remember I mentioned I have a resident toad and a snake - well my cousin tells me that if you have frogs/toads and snakes in your yard, you have a healthy yard... so I am putting in a small pond for the frogs, and if there are frogs, there will most likely be snakes too...I think!

I want a few raised beds - three, is what I am planning on at the moment.  I want 3 -  4x8 ft raised beds for things like strawberries, tomatoes, beans, beets, lettuce, one will have attached lattice for plants that need to climb such as cucumbers, melons, zucchini - etc.  And one will be for a tea and herb garden.

The ground garden will grow potatoes, squash, pumpkin, etc.

I want at least 2 fruit trees, an apple for sure, and maybe an apricot... there is one in the T&T catalogue that I have my eye on.

I want birds in my yard so the fruit trees will help with that, but I also want houses and feeders to attract the birds.

I want a bee house or two because a good garden needs lots of bees.

I want areas to sit and read, or sit and watch the birds, or the bees, or sit with my camera.  There will be a small patio area for outdoor entertaining, and somewhere there will be a fairy garden - just because.

It is a tall order, and I know it will be back breaking work, but hopefully one day I will be able to sit outside in the summer months in all that is my revamped yard and write my blog posts from one of those areas.

My home has a huge cold room, which right now is wall to wall - empty.

I plan to fill it up next year with home canned vegetables from my garden, my own potatoes, squash and pumpkins... all the things that are so good to eat - grown right here in my own yard.

Now that I have taken measurements, I am going to start planning the new yard on paper.  I am kind of looking forward to spending my winter working on the outside - from the inside.

When spring comes, I hope to be able to start working on my garden plan.  No doubt it will take several years to become the garden I want, but that's okay... really great things often take time to accomplish.

But first I need to finish my Christmas orders and gifts...

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