Mid-May 2016 I pulled up all the old plants from last years’ garden. Everything was either fed to the chickens or composted. With all that I ate from my garden I will stand here and proclaim it was a big success. However, now I want to overhaul it completely with a new design and begin creating my dream garden.
Some things worked and some things didn’t and let’s face it – I’m not a Master Gardener. I figured if I draw up a “Grand Master Plan” to create the garden of my dreams it would give me great goals to work toward. In some respects my ideas for this new “Grand Master Plan” for my dream garden are a bit lofty but if I make a plan for things like watering and vermiculture (earthworms) and more efficient composting and so on this could truly be a my dream garden.
I visited my usual haunts for ideas – the almighty Google and Pinterest – and from there I had a starting point. I made a list of what worked and what didn’t. I had a fence around my old garden and that was a “must have” for the new garden (the local bunnies are my friends, for sure). The raised bed I made was 6’ x 12’ and it must be cut down in width to make everything more accessible without walking on the soil in the garden bed. The bed was set up in an east-to-west direction but the direction should be changed to north-to-south so all plants have better exposure. I sat down with a pencil and some graph paper and started to sketch out some ideas.
Since I have ample land available in the area where the existing garden bed is I can afford to go larger and even change the overall shape of the new garden. What do I really want? What would make me happy to be in the garden more? The location is truly ideal with water close by and plenty of space to dream. I would love to have a trellis for beans and peas and if I could walk underneath, that would be really cool. Pollinators are vital and even though I’ll increase the usable garden space over time, I’ll plan on adding plants that will attract the bees and butterflies now. The outermost perimeter will have plants that bunnies and squirrels don’t like to eat and things that will be visually interesting as well.
To keep things manageable I’m planning on a complete garden area around 26’ x 26’ including the protective fence and aisles wide enough that a wheelbarrow can maneuver through. Weed cloth will be laid under the entire new garden and because I love to walk barefooted in my garden, the material I use on top of the weed cloth (if anything at all) has to be bare foot friendly. I’ve also tracked down a fairly local source of outstanding soil and compost that I can purchase in bulk. Some things I have already or are things I will reuse or repurpose. The pump house is close to where the garden will be and I’m planning to install an outside sink and work station there on an existing concrete slab, too.
For now my garden has been put to bed but it’s when I’m in bed that I do my best dreaming.