Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Garden Plan

If I'm going to spend so much time in my garden, then perhaps I should show you what I'm up to! Sort of...

I've been taking pictures of my garden the last three years and every now and then I've posted a photo or two. At this point, I think I'll create a bit of suspense... I'll wait to "unveil" it when I get it a bit more "finished". (A garden is never REALLY completed, is it?). In the meantime, I'll keep showing your little snippets. And how about a map of it? Be sure to view the Garden Legend just below the map in order to identify each item.

So let me tell you a bit about what you CAN'T see...

This isn't a flat level garden. Remember... I live in the mountains! Those green areas with squash, potatoes, tomatoes... each of those are a different terrace, which means little retaining walls that need to be built. Oh, and the raised bed boxes are on another terrace.

Now you know why this is taking so long! I'm going to have to add masonry skills to my repertoire! I've started digging out the foundation for one and the block is all over the tomato area. And in the meantime, I still am planting and raising veggies. (By the way, I rotate those three green areas each year.)

The raised bed boxes are where I grow all my greens and other tender or smaller sized plants: basil, cilantro, lettuce, chard, peppers, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, peas, etc. I don't have all 8 raised beds in place yet, but getting there! Each year we add a couple more.

The bees live tucked away in the upper left corner. You may be thinking that a beehive in the garden would fall into the category of "two's company, three's a crowd". But based on my own experience, I have found that bees and beehives are a lovely fit! However, because I live where rogue animals would love to have honey as a treat after dark, fencing around the hive is pretty much a necessity. (Have you ever seen pictures of a hive knocked over and destroyed by a predator? It's a sad sight, indeed! Trust me... you don't want to go there.)

Thankfully, the brown wood fencing was already in place. And since I planned to put my goats in a paddock in the garden, their corral fencing would secure a third side. I left one side open, but if necessary, I can fence this off, too. A cypress-like tree (this one is actually a Japanese Juniper, but it looks like a cypress; the other three really ARE Italian Cypress), a couple of bay trees that will be pruned to large shrubs, and a rosemary plant will act as winter wind breaks on the north side of the hives. These are all evergreens that are safe to eat should the goats manage to get their heads through and consume some a lot! (They just decimated my roses when a little someone didn't get the gate closed all the way.)

Most of the items on the map are in place, but I didn't mark all the bee friendly flowers that I've added or will be adding. My sweet friend, Gail, sent me a packet of seeds from Botanical Interests called "Save The Bees". I'm planting them on the other side of the fence, right in front of the hives! Lavender (another bee favorite) has been interspersed among the espalier apple trees and annuals such as zinnias and chrysanthemums will be scattered throughout.

I still have some plants waiting to go in the ground, as well as a few spaces that still need to be filled with something special, but the journey is half the fun! And I'm getting a really good farmer's tan!

What would you add that I haven't thought of? I'd love some input!


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