In my first post on the Garden Project of 2017, I spoke about the "why" - namely, eliminating the need for chicken wire fencing around Area #2 by transitioning those beds from vegetables to ornamental.
BTW, if you find yourself saying "I don't recall seeing that post", I'm not surprised since I goofed when posting it. I inadvertently hit "publish" before the post was ready and then promptly reverted it to a draft. What I didn't realize was that when I did eventually publish, it would post as of the original date, which in this case was 3 days earlier. Oops. Next time this happens (and we all know there will be a next time, don't we), I'll have to remember to copy and paste to a new post.
Now, back to the topic at hand - this years garden project. Since the beds in Area #2 will become cutting flower beds, I will need to build four new vegetable beds elsewhere. The best solution is to expand Area #1 but this involves dealing with a couple of issues: (1) two large spruce trees growing right in the middle of where the expansion would be and (2) lack of privacy.
The Issue of the Spruce Trees
The 25’ spruce trees are not only healthy and beautiful, but they also provide our backyard with much needed privacy from the street and the neighbour’s driveway. My initial thought was that there was only one solution - cut down the existing trees and replant new trees closer to the street. But the cost of replacement trees even half the size of the current ones is steep, in the $600+ range per tree. And then there is the cost of removing the existing trees, which are much too large for us to tackle ourselves, adding another $600 or more to the project.
You can see the spruce trees in the following photo:
|Facing south along the west border|
Look closely: That yellow bit near the bottom of the spruce tree on the right is the arborist!
|In the process of transplanting the first tree|
This is not an inexpensive option but it’s less costly than the alternative and we don’t have to wait years for much smaller trees to mature.
|Front Yard Facing West - Before|
|Front Yard Facing West - After|
Although relocating the spruce trees to the front of the property does provide some privacy from the street, it leaves us wide open when it comes to the neighbours driveway. There's also the bunny problem to contend with - I still need to have some sort of enclosure to keep the bunnies out of the veg garden.
The most obvious solution is to install some sort of privacy fencing but I prefer a softer, less conspicuous option. The answer is to use landscaping. Taller specimens would provide privacy and I'll be able to camouflage the still-necessary chicken wire with shrubs and perennials. This would also be the most satisfying way to accomplish my goals – what gardener doesn’t love planning, shopping for and planting up a new bed?
|Facing South along west border after moving trees|
I’m planning on using a mixture of tall shrubs, grasses and narrow cedars as the “bones” of the border. These will perform several important functions: (1) provide privacy; (2) hide the chicken-wire fencing around the veg garden and (3) be aesthetically pleasing, both from the backyard/veg garden and from the street/neighbours driveway.
I’ll then focus on incorporating pollinator attracting perennials, both herbs and ornamentals. I’ll also be leaving enough room in the borders to add some annuals each year. The finished borders will have both full sun and partly shaded areas which means that I’ll be able to experiment with a wide variety of plants – I’m so looking forward to that!
Up next: The Plan