My garden greenman

Last year I decided my garden needed a a bit more pizzazz. We have been putting in shade plants for the past few years to liven up what was a very sparse yard. The greenery is coming along, and the space cried out for some decoration to compliment the new life. 

I decided on a greenman.

I spent all winter imaging and planning something to hang on the fence on the shady patio side of the house. As soon as I could be comfortably out in the garage this spring I began working with some cedar fence boards. Sketches in hand, I pulled out the band saw and got to work. 

                    

It took some work to get everything to line up but I am pretty happy with the result.

 

Down the garden path

I’ve hardly spent anytime on my computer lately – or indoors for that matter – because I can’t keep myself out of the garden.

It’s still a work in progress, but the work brings me such joy.

copperOver the past two years Berni built me the most gorgeous raised garden planters. This year he installed copper supports so we could place plastic sheeting cold frames over the beds early in the year, and get a head start on the planting. We tried plastic hoops last year but that failed.

strawberriesSince Berni got all the beds done I have slowly been perfecting what I plant where. The garden is on the south side of the house, and has varying sun and is surrounded by spruces. We cover the beds in winter to stop the needles from acidifying the soil. I think we’ve got it finally right and this year will be our best year yet. Fingers crossed.

tessaI tour the garden every morning with my best friend, Tessa.

We survey the plants and look out for mice or vole damage. Last year was terrible for rodent damage, this year is better so far.

It’s early, but it all looks great. I have eaten one cuke, some cherry tomatoes and some rhubarb already, and I have strawberries, one fig and one jalapeno each already a good size.

Bee1As an extra joy, I discovered we have a bee hive under an old wooden pallet around a corner behind the house where no one goes, but only about 6 metres away from the garden. That is fabulous; it assures me my tomatoes and peppers will get pollinated and produce fruit. The rose bush loves them too.

pretty plantersI spent today on my irises and tying back the grape and climbing rose. I spent last week getting the front walk, deck and patio area looking welcoming.

I trimmed the hedge and the trees in the patio area on the other side of the house. We plan to buy a pear tree so I have to front entrancedig that hole this week. I need to finish putting rocks down on the paths between the beds. Weeding is constant. I still have to bundle the branches I trimmed. I have an idea to plant and bend a willow topiary.  I’ve cleaned up and spray painted an old iron patio table and chairs, and started weaving new seats.

I want to blog but I don’t know how much I can tear myself from my yardwork.

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Good fences make good neighbours

My last post was about the absolutely fabulous garden my husband built for me. While he was hard at work making our garden space functional, I was hard at work making it beautiful.

I wanted to create something to represent our new blended family. I decided on a family fence, and included one slat for each of us. There is even one for our dog, Tessa. When I put it together I tried to replicate our relative heights too. The short one is me. Oh, and I added a squirrel to the edge because the dog is constantly chasing squirrels.

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Then my husband attached it to spikes under some spruces trees along one side of my garden – where there was a gap in the hedge that rings the yard anyway so it added privacy. 1001552_10151869114209715_53356817_n

That was the first year. The second year, when I decided I wanted a couple more raised beds in the garden I also decided I wanted to fill one other small gap in the hedge. Over the winter some deer had wandered through the garden so I used that as inspiration.

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Again, my husband attached it to spikes – after he finished building the last long bed and the strawberry bed.

The other day while on one of my first spring garden inspections I noted there was a gap under one of the largest spruces where we had trimmed away some old branches. I think I’m going to make a small fence to fill it. Shorter. Maybe a wolf silhouette. I’ve got a few months to think about because I won’t have time until the garden is all planted and thriving.

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My little Eden

2014-06-05 19.01.33One of the things that was really high on my list of priorities when my hubby and I went shopping for our first house was a good area for gardening. We were both selling homes of our own, and in my old yard I had a large garden in which I had build some raised beds. I didn’t want to give that up.

2013-05-18 13.52.14The first year we moved in too late and I had to forgo gardening and resign myself to planning on graph paper. The next year my husband went to work – which was cool because I had built my old beds and while they functioned they weren’t exactly showpieces. I knew he’d do a far better job of it.

2014-05-01 12.03.31We measured and I drew out how I imagined the space. I wanted an organic looking area, not straight lines.

The first spring hubby got the big beds up next to the house and the first of the long beds done, and he prepared the yard for the rest. A couple trees had to go and rocks had to be shifted.

2014-05-16 20.58.27To be honest I didn’t think he’d get it done in one season, but I guess one of the best things about a new relationship is finding out that your spouse finds joy in the same things you do. I’m pretty happy. I actually got to plant that year.

strawberry bedThe second spring he got all the beds done plus two more I had decided we had space for. That included a strawberry bed. He also built an overhead bean trellis between two beds and a small trellis for peas. He had it all done in time to plant too.

This spring already I can see my strawberries coming back super strong, and the rhubarb I planted in the straight section next to the strawberries looks great. In the first bed, up against the garage, one of the grapes is leafing out.

grape     rhubarb     strawberries

This year’s project is going to be building cold frames for at least the tomato and pepper beds. My husband hit the hardware store this morning and was out in the garage working on the frames this afternoon. I expect great things.

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