Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dreamin' Green, Part II

Earlier I outlined my designs for the new "L" shaped garden I plan to have built in the spring, now it's time for the rest of my mad plans (to make up my goal of "more than half the yeild in less than 1/8th of the space").

Our gazebo is on a raised platform in the corner of the yard. The gazebo itself sits in the middle, allowing for space around the outside on three of the four corners (the fourth is taken up with a planter type thing housing what I think are current or possibly blueberry bushes). There is plenty of space at these three corners for some large planters or groups of planters, which is exactly what I intend to do. I have two large cedar containers (moved here from the apartment) that I will put on two of the corners with Salad Bush Cucumbers.

Salad Bush Cucumbers
Salad Bush Cucumbers

I have two large urn like pots that are destined for cherry tomatoes (at least; I will probably add more). I chose two varieties this year: Tiny Tim which I have had great success with in the past and Ildi, a yellow grape tomato that I tried last year. It was the only tomato that got to the flowering stage before frost killed it (I was late starting them and if you remember, last year was not optimum for growing anything, let alone on a north facing balcony).

Ildi Tomato

My herb garden will not be in the traditonal sense either. Other than some Lavendar Lady to plant by my garden gates, my herbs will be in pots scattered about the yard (depending on how much sun they need). I've had little pots of basil and oregano and the like for years; although they don't yield much, it a treat to cook with herbs that you have grown yourself. On the list this year are: Sweet Basil, Cilantro, Bouquet Dill, Oregano, Italian Dark Green Parsley, Rosemary, Sage and German Winter Thyme.

Lavendar Lady
Just to allay any fears, I'm not all about the veggies this year. I've also chosen quite a few flowers to brighten our happy home. I plan to purchase two large urns for the front porch; in them I plan to grow Ballet Mix Asters and White Fountains Lobilia. I actually got both to bloom last year on the balcony, so a deck drenched in morning sun should provide a happy home. While I'm out shopping for brackets, I plan to pick up some to hang my window boxes off the front railing; in those will go more lobelia and Perfume Mix Nicotiana. In one of my crazier ideas, I will get yet another large planter and either grow the Morning Glory Trio up the side of the house by the garage or up one side of the gazebo. We'll see how I feel in the spring.

White Fountains Trailing Lobelia
Perfume Mix Nicotiana
Finally, in the "fill in the cracks" category are two old favourites of mine. In the front garden there seems to be a rose bush, some garden lights and little else. For now, I will add some Bleeding Hearts which will (hopefully) bloom in the spring. To fill in any gaps in my flower beds this year, I will sprinkle in some Mirabilis (or as I grew up knowing them "Four O'Clocks) of the Four O'Clock Mix.

Four O'Clock Mix Mirablilis

That should keep me going for now. Other than trying a pepper plant in the remaining Veseys Revolutionary Tomato Planter and a field trip to a local nursery for some fuchsias and to investigate peony bushes, that is it.

You may laugh, you may scorn... but I have been waiting a lifetime to have my own garden paradise. It will be a lot of work, that I do not doubt. It will be a labour of love. Yesterday my friend Skye placed our seed order; both of us are determined to make our gardens a success. I have a spot already picked out in my living room for my seed trays (many of mine have to be started indoors early). I'm already starting to tap my foot impatiently waiting for our package to arrive...

As the summer winds on, I can totally see us sipping something lovely under her gazebo or mine, looking out at our handiwork and sighing with contentment. It's better than any spa, better than any retreat. I can't wait.

"The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses." ~Hanna Rion

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