Garden Project of 2017 - The Plan
In my last project post, I spoke about The Solution to The Problem. In this post, I'll give a few more details on the expansion as well as the timeline. We don't have an able bodied crew at the ready - this will change once the kids are a bit older ;) - so most of the work will be done by me, myself and I with the occasional spousal helping hand. Translation: This will not be a quick project!
After the trees were moved, we were free to start the expansion. A picture is worth a thousand words, even a very bad Google maps image, so here is a rough illustration of the planned vegetable garden expansion:
|House is on the right; the street cuts across the top left corner, neighbours driveway is on the left.|
Red = Current Area #1;
Blue = Expansion to Area #1;
Green = New ornamental border;
Green "flowers" = transplanted spruce trees
Within the blue bordered area there are a couple of trees which will remain, specifically a cherry and a white birch cluster. They won't be a problem in terms of shade, as they are in the north/east corner of the expanded area. I'll also be keeping the beds a good distance away from them to avoid issues with tree roots.
|The cherry tree (right) and birch cluster (left) will be located within the new veg area|
There are two more small evergreens near the shed which will eventually be removed - both of them are rather sad with spindly growth and a lot of dead spots, likely because they were originally planted much too close to the spruce trees which dominated the space.
|Close-up of one of the trees that we will be removing|
The size of this project (and the small work crew!) means that we will be tackling it in stages over the next couple of years. This year, we moved the trees and will be marking off and sheet mulching the expanded veg area. The ornamental border will be edged on the neighbours side while on our side, we will use stones.
|The tree moving equipment did a number on the grass in this area.|
The damage, however, actually works in our favour since this entire area is being sheet mulched.
The next step will be to add the new veg beds and break ground on a second ornamental border which runs along the north side of the veg area (the blue line directly across from the spruce). I'm slotting this in as a "leisurely project" for next summer which means that the veg beds will not be operational until the following year (2019). Only once the veg beds and this last border are in will we "officially" expand Area #1 by relocating the existing fencing.
So where are we at? We've received 2 dump truck loads of wood chips and are currently in the process of sheet mulching.
Progress has been slow going - our weather has been hot, with humidex readings often in the mid-30C's/90F's, which makes working outside challenging and necessitates frequent breaks in the AC.
In addition, other areas of the garden also need attention - weeding, edging, pruning...the list goes on. A couple of weeks ago I took a break from the "project" and finally got started on weeding and de-grassing the rather neglected berry runs.
|Raspberries. Yes, they're in there...somewhere|
|Heritage raspberry run is done;|
I'll be starting on the Fall Gold (to the right) this week
The trick is to "know" that this will be the case and not drive yourself crazy trying to stick to a rigid timeline. For me, that's easier said than done. Now off to move another pile of mulch (in a very relaxed "it will get done when it gets done" sort of way) :)
Hmmm, don't bank on your kids helping out in the garden when they're older, my two were so enthusiastic when I got my allotment, I even bought them their own tools, it didn't take long for them to get bored with it. What a large job you're undertaking. I know it will take time, these things do, but how exciting seeing it all come together. I can't wait to see how it all pans out.ReplyDelete
Thank you Jo - I've been thinking of expanding that area for a few years now and it is very exciting that this "future" project is now underway. As for the kids, one can only hope they will lend a hand once they are older...or perhaps a bribe with some baked goods will do it!Delete
Hi Margaret, You are so organized and patient! It will be so beautiful and functional once you get it all done. That raspberry row looks so pretty now that you have weeded it! NancyReplyDelete
Thanks Nancy - I usually find myself stopping when I walk past sections of the garden that I've "finished" - so satisfying!Delete
Funny, I've got the same work crew here - me, myself, and I. This weekend the spousal support kicked in for an afternoon and the thing that I had to laugh at was that at the end of the work session when I said it's time to make dinner (same work crew), the support staff said you worked hard this afternoon, take a break. Ha ha I said, do you think this is any different from a typical day in my life? You would never eat if I took the evening off after a hard day in the garden.ReplyDelete
I've got the same philosophy about garden projects, they get done when they get done.
Looking Good! The berry runs and the mulch look so tidy.
Thanks Michelle! Oh, so funny about your husband - I think our experiences are par for the course for most gardeners. I'll be working outside for hours and then come in, start dinner, tidy the kitchen - the list goes on...no big deal, right? It's always rather amusing when my other half works outside for even an hour or two...he will inevitably make a comment about how "long/hard he worked" and spend an even longer period of time in recovery on the couch :)Delete
Nice blog- thanks for sharing! I love how you write too- very encouraging.ReplyDelete
Oh, thanks Donna - such a compliment coming from you!Delete
Isn't it satisfying after you have finished tidying a really messy area. I'd love to have the space that you have. Look forward to seeing how thing turn out.ReplyDelete
I love it when an area is finished! Well, finished in the garden is relative - in reality, most things are only finished "for now".Delete
My goodness, that's a big project. I've been working on quite a few projects around my yard this summer, but nothing comes close to moving trees! Can't wait to see the progress.ReplyDelete
Thanks k - sometimes I think I bit off more than I can chew. But then I remind myself that the timeline is my own and it's not solely about the result - the process should be enjoyable too.Delete
I love your plan! You should be very excited. As Robert Burnham said: "Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men's blood." Just substitute "gardeners'" for "men", and it applies just as well.ReplyDelete
Love that! I am very excited and am hoping to make some good progress in the next few weeks, especially as the days get cooler. I'm also REALLY looking forward to picking out the plants (of course!) as I need quite a few and this will be like getting "permission" for some serious plant shopping...I'm getting giddy just thinking about it!Delete
Margaret, once again you have me in awe. Not just a thinker, but a do-do-doer!ReplyDelete
Oh, you make me blush :) My husband actually thinks I need to be a bit less of a doer and a bit more of a relaxer, like him...as if that will ever happen!Delete
Wow. more garden space. What a dream. I am a firm believer that you can never have enough garden. I will watch with excitement as your new plan unfolds!ReplyDelete
Thanks Lexa :) I'm with you - there can never be enough garden space. My husband, however, would tend to disagree especially when I ask him to help move some mulch!Delete
It's times like this (reading your post) that I'm glad Mark's Veg Plot is very small! Other times I wish I had more space... :) At least you're being realistic about the timescales.ReplyDelete
I think a lot of us go through the back and forth - less space=less work; more space=more veg - it's a quandary :)Delete
Wow, you are busy, busy! It's good that you aren't rushing through it--that way, it will be more manageable and enjoyable (?). I envy all your sun. I do, however, think the loss of the neighbor's large Oak tree has allowed more tomatoes to set in my sunny(ish) garden. Good luck! It will be fun to watch your progress!ReplyDelete
That's true - when I think about it one piece at a time (i.e. today I'll do the edging for this section), it's not as overwhelming and very gratifying when I see the progress made, small as it may be.Delete
It's always sad when a tree, especially a mature one, has to come down - but more tomatoes is never a bad thing!!