If I write it, there’s a degree of accountability with it.
When we moved, we were SO fortunate to find a unicorn- even though our plot is a smidge bigger than the last place, with more house, and decent sized driveway taken into consideration, we actually ended up with more or less the same yardage we already had to play with. It was a real win for us!
Though our front yard is more or less bare for the most part, the perimeters of the house need cleared. It simultaneously feels astronomical, as well as not that bad. Our biggest goal for next year is to clear it all out and get it bare to build back up. There are a few exceptions like the weeping Cherry in the backyard and the hydrangea in the front.
Beyond clearing everything out, I have 3, small, “zones” that I’m hoping to get done in the spring. The first is the berry patch. Along the backside of the house there is an established bed. It’s getting cleared out and will become the new home of our black raspberries, red raspberries, strawberries, boysenberries, huckleberries, and likely some blueberries.
The second zone will be our one property line. We have lucked out with just the SWEETEST neighbors of all time on our one side. It currently has a diseased lilac, mimosa, larger bush things, and tons of English ivy. It’s all going to come out. It will be edged with zinnias and cosmos, all the way around, with milkweed, parsley, fennel, rue, and dill, down the center for our butterflies. My father-in-law also had this pen with a door that will sit in the middle, filled with those host plants. It will be our nursery area for the caterpillars.
The third zone will be the kitchen garden. We have a bit of a random blob of grass outside the kitchen window, that sits betwixt the driveway, 2 walkways, and the house. My hope is to put in raised beds. I also have some old windows that will be the tops of cold boxes we’ll be making. There is a stretch along the side of the house with little stones. Instead of trying to get that out, I’ll line up the cold boxes there and make it work. I’m hoping to grow: green beans, various tomatoes, potatoes, parsnips, lettuce, strawberries, leeks, and potatoes. Yes, I said potatoes twice. At first it was an accident. But I REALLY like potatoes. And I was able to get our first raised bed put together on my birthday a few weeks ago, so it’s already coming together.
Monty Don is more or less my gardening hero. I follow him on social media, read his books, and watch his shows. I often have to remind myself that he and his wife have been working their property for 30 years. I DID also find a map outline of his gardens, which was GOLDEN for me. I struggled to conceptualize how they were laid out and flowed. I bring all of this up for 2 reasons.
1. There are so many seeds I sowed my first year that took 2-3 years to actually come up. TIME is ok. My whole yard won’t be done in a year. It won’t even be done in 5. Pray for my husband continuously my friends.
2. Plan. Dream. It’s the season for watching the Beatrice Ferrand documentary on Prime, rewatching, and finding new gardening and landscaping shows. Figure out what you want out of your garden. Food? Butterflies? Cut flowers? Joy? Children’s Garden? All of it?
In future years, I’d like the front of the house to have peonies and hollyhock to go along with the lacewing hydrangea. I’d like a hedge of butterfly bushes across the front of the property. There will be a sea of tulips somewhere. They ARE my favorite flower after all. I want a sitting garden for my glider surrounded by hummingbird plants and feeders. Ethan’s grandmother has converted me to an iris lover over the years so they’ll need to find a home as well. We’ve learned that a portion of our property tends to be a bit more “wet” than the rest. I’ve been taking notes on Monty Don’s own water garden, for wet loving plants to find a home there. I keep trying to talk Ethan into making a chunk of the front lawn creeping thyme to cut down on maintenance AND add some more color and joy.