Last year I fell in love with gardening – hard. I don’t know what happened. One moment I was mildly enjoying the start my small little garden just to have a few homegrown veggies, and then the next moment I have GRAND gardening visions.
I’m talking rose covered archways and tunnels, stone paths, and growing most of the vegetables we eat year round….
It’s admittedly a lot, and much more than I can accomplish in one year with a tight budget. It’s actually more than I can accomplish with the limited land that we currently have available to us, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to get as far as I can push it. In all honesty that’s my sweet spot anyways. What is life without a little challenge?
The biggest lesson I learned from last year’s garden;
If it’s purely functional, but it’s not beautiful and has no fun creativity – I want no parts of it.
It’s sad but true. A purely functional garden makes a whole lot of sense in my head, but I will quickly lose all interest and the result is a dead garden.
So, I let my imagination go a little wild (probably too wild), and I am determined to make it look like something resembling the beautiful rustic garden in my head.
I know that I won’t get all the way there this year. This is basically a year one garden, but I’ll be satisfied with a nice sized dent.
So, what I’m planning on planting this year:
Basil – Ghana Ancash Market
Thyme – French & Wild
Cilantro – Slow Bolt
Dill – Bouquet Dill
Oregano – Vulgare
Parsley – Giant of Italy
Mint – Mountain
Spinach – Giant Nobel
Kale – Blue Curled Scotch
Cabbage – Brunswick
Lettuce – Ice Queen, Rouge D’Hiver, Paris Island,
Peppers – Ajvarsk, Craig’s Grande Jalapeno, Sugar Rush Peach, & California Wonder
Zucchini – Cashflow
Tomatoes – Blush Tiger, Pink Bumble Bee, Bonny Best, Hartman’s Yellow Gooseberry, Orange Peach, Blue Cream Berries, & Black Beauty
Carrots – Danvers 126
Celery – Chinese White
Asparagus – Mary Washington
Broccoli – Waltham 29
Cauliflower – Amazing
Cucumber – Ancash Market & Ashley Cucumber
Onion – Walla Walla & Utah Yellow Sweet Spanish
Peas – Little Marvel Garden & Lincoln
Radishes – French Breakfast & Sparkler
Pumpkins – Flat White Boer
Watermelon – Crimson Sweet
Blackberries – Schwartzenbeeren
Roses – The Larks Ascending Rose from David Austin
Kiss Me Over The Garden Gate
Black Peony Poppy
…….give or take….
So, I haven’t bought all of these seeds or plants yet. I have bought many of them though. A few I am either waiting to buy established from a local nursery or they won’t arrive until closer to spring (i.e bare root roses).
With such a long list and being such a novice gardener, I know I’m not going to grow all of these things well. Many will be casualties of my inexperience, but I’m an all or nothing kinda person. Plus, what a better way to learn than to try. At the very least I’ll know what not to do next year.
While they are currently calling for it to dump snow tomorrow, it hasn’t stopped my excitement. There are seeds that actually need to be started here directly soon.
But winter is the perfect time to start planning because Spring will be here before I know it.
Mapping out the Gardens
I’m having a little too much fun with this part.
The one garden I have actually physically mapped out is the vegetable garden because I learned three hard lessons last year:
- Give your vegetables enough space.
- Trellises are key.
- What you plant next to each other matters.
I had cucumbers climbing on top of carrots and smothering them, and I had zucchini lost in the jungle, only to be found too late rotting in the dirt. Casualties of my inexperience… So, I made sure I have designated chunks of the garden for my viney plants like pumpkins, watermelon, and zucchini.
Also, I physically drew the trellises that we need to start building during winter. The more that I can get done now the better position we will be in come Spring.
You should have seen how many versions of this garden I had. I’ve learned it matters what is planted next to each other. So it was a puzzle getting each vegetable plant next to a good companion plant and not one that would hurt it.
The Big Picture
We actually will be having a few separate gardening spaces. This isn’t ideal, but it’s what we have to work with so I’ll take it. I have separated the gardens by a mainly vegetable garden, a flower and herb garden, potato rows, and a side garden. I am completely leaving out the front of the house for now and turning all of my attention out back to these gardens. That’s all I can wrap my head and budget around right now.
The vegetable garden is the only garden that is actually planned out. It will take up a chunk of our back yard but it will be 100% worth it.
The garden directly in front of the back deck is going to be our herb and flower garden. I have big Rustic English Cottage Garden dreams, which aren’t fully planned out just yet, but I’m excited to start to tackle that.
We have a few seeds that need to be started here directly like cauliflower and broccoli. I’m so excited to just start playing in dirt again. Until it’s really time to start digging I am going to be drinking coffee and reading all the gardening books I can get ahold of. Oh – that and building a chicken coop….
Thanks for letting me ramble about my gardening goals, and thanks for taking time out of your day to hang out here!
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