Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Garden: First plans

One major reason we wanted a house and were willing to move out of the city that we loved in order to obtain it, was because we wanted a large yard. We wanted space to do all the things: flowers, herbs, foods, and play. We know what we want to do and the approximate location for each, but now that winter is past its heyday, I find Spring approaching with fearsome rapidity. Actual conversation from last night went something like this:
Me: Ugh, I'm weird!
J: Why this time?
Me: I'm getting anxiety about going to the Flower & Garden Show!
J: Yeah, that's weird.

I've never been to the F&G before, so I don't know what to expect. In my mind, it's a* utopia of all the verdant shades Nature has provided and my once a year opportunity to buy all the plants and gleam all the knowledge I can in the one day we're attending. If I don't show up with my ideas firmly and thorougly planned, I'll ruin the opportunity and our garden will be a sad attempt for the year.

This is way too much pressure to put on myself, I realize this. Yet, I can't help worrying that there will be so much that I'll either be overwhelmed and hide in a shadey overgrown corner of a demonstration garden like a little timid forest creature, or I'll get too excited and buy plants willy-nilly, spending too much money on flora to which I'll provide a slow and torturous death.

The simple answer to all this is: CHILL OUT! The more reasonable answer is: this is NOT the only time and location when I can purchase gardening needs or learn. Our garden does not have to be perfectly established this year and can be done slowly through the years. RELAX. Well reasonable person, sane me recognizes this, it's more a question of crazy-yard-happy me listening. In fact, my plans for this year are to "simply" focus on the edible aspects of our garden this year.

Several years ago, we saw the beautiful herb spiral at the Tilth Demonstration Gardens next to Meridian Park and we both fell in love. Cooking with fresh herbs is something that delights us both and we are excited to expand our balcony container garden to a larger and more permanent home.

My other project is to build our raised vegetable beds. I'm so excited to have home-grown veggies and greens but this is one area I need to try and rein it in and not go overboard with what I eventually want to grow each year.
Here's my not-to-scale sketch of our yard. The large green circle is the potential
herb spiral site. We want to be able to see it easily from the kitchen and deck, but
not be shaded by anything (that may be too close to the lilac tree). The tiny circle
in front is for my required Tropican Rose Bush. Mom had one on either side of our
front porch during my growing up years. The green square is the planned raised
vegetable bed location - outside the fence so that our future dog can't get to it.

One frustration I'm having is regarding materials. We only have sedans (J's being larger than mine) and no good way to haul materials easily. J can rent a van from work if need be, but that is dependent on usage schedules. While transport is only a minor inconvencience, obtaining the materials is more of an issue. I really would like to find the materials for super-cheap or free, and preferably with previously used rocks and lumber to give them new life and be more eco-conscious. We decided we want to build our herb spiral with medium-sized rocks to match the two raised beds at the front of the house. However, while I often come across salvaged brick, small to medium are rare. I also feel this odd moral issue with paying for rock. All those gorgeous stone walls dividing up the UK are from rocks pulled out of the farming ground. Surely someone has rocks they want to get rid of? I'd also like to repurpose lumber to build the veggie beds and not use new. So if you know of someone with these kinds of materials taking up space in their yard, let us know!

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