Sunday, June 1, 2008

GT: Week 1

This is an exciting week. Chiefly, we'll diagnose problems and create a vision. My garden involves both the front yard and the back; both large areas, as you've seen. The time-line for such a huge project is necessarily longer than WT and even AT, for that matter. The books I've been reading recommend about three years to see a garden "come to life." That's not bad, especially as we've been living with the garden in a mess for much longer than that.

  • Make a complete list of areas which need repair, weeding, improvement or movement. Make a list of possible solutions. For example, I've decided that the walkway from the driveway to the sidewalk needs to be repositioned and the vegetable garden moved.
  • Clean up any twigs or debris from the lawn/garden.
  • Make a list of tools needed. For example, I want a composter. It's a tool. I'll have to research what else we may need and inventory what we have.
  • Find a garden centre you love.
  • Set a budget.

  • In AT, Maxwell directs us remove one item. I'm not sure what that could be in each situation: it may be Zooza's honeysuckle, in my case, it could be the now defunct picnic table or a weed or two or a hundred. Decide for yourself whether you can do this. The goal, of course, is simply to start freeing up space to breathe and move.
  • Collect pictures of plants or gardens and garden designs you love.

  • Buy something and re-pot it, if necessary. It doesn't need to be expensive. It can be an annual and left at the door or a small plant for an outdoor table. It can be something in a container you move later once the plan has been figured out. I want tomatoes. Big fat juicy tomatoes--with fresh basil to eat with them once they're ripe. Finding and planting a tomato is venturing into unknown territory for me.

  • Determine your goals for your garden: what are the activities you need it to support?
  • Sit in an area you haven't sat in (if you can).
  • Take your "before" pictures.
  • Look into organic gardening and xeriscaping. Find friendly ways to look after pests, if needed.

  • A garden exists for your soul. It exists to nourish you in every way. Whatever your space, you can create something that feeds all of your senses: sight and smell, of course, but also sound if you can include a bird house or feeder or bath and taste if you can grow something to eat. Try and find a way to include as much sensory stimulation as you can--and that means you too scb. Find out what purple martins eat, perhaps, and put out food for them. That should help with the skeeter problem. Just a thought.

    1 comment :

    scb said...

    Garden centers should still have tomato plants available, though they might be a little spindly looking by now... I've never done them in containers, but a man that used to live on Mum & Dad's floor grew wonderful tomatoes in containers on his balcony.

    Get some large plant containers (the garden center will tell you what you need for container gardening, if that's what you want to do with the tomatoes, otherwise just stick 'em in the ground. Mine were in full sun all the time, and they did well (but I had no choice...)

    I put tomato cages around mine when I planted them out. The tomato cages are great -- they keep the plants upright with no effort on your part (not like staking and tying), and the tomatoes are easily reached. I just used the simple wire ones, and liked 'em fine. (When I googled "tomato cages" people were expounding about building fancy ones... not necessary at all, at all.)

    Have fun!

    Oh -- and thanks for the suggestion about feeding purple martins, but I think that would be frowned on. People in my building (not me) have been known to feed pigeons on their balconies, which has been nixed, because it means the cars below get pigeon droppings all over them (we got netting over our balcony openings last year, to keep the pigeons from nesting on the balconies... thank goodness!)

    I'll just stay inside, and garden vicariously through the rest of you wonderful gardening people.

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