What do you picture when you hear the question “what is your dream garden”? What does the area grow, vegetables, flowers, trees, bushes? Is it tame or wild?
Today’s GWG prompt is “Describe your fantasy garden”. If you’d asked me this 20, or 10, or even 5 years ago, the answer would be a lot different. Without actual, real space to plan on, I’d imagine neat city style borders and hedges, a tidy vegetable garden, all of it separate from the yard. Now, I have land and experience to know that tidy and neat is A LOT OF WORK. So….
Organize chaos is how I would put it. Areas of riots of colour and function spread out between paths. Starting out with nearly bare land is: 1) so much bloody work and 2) absolutely perfect because there no one else’s work to redo; it’s a blank slate (mostly – working with this concrete-like clay soil is a special kind of hell).
Forgive my lack of photos, my phone crashed recently and took out about a year of photos that would have worked to share the area I write about. It’s all snow now, so imagine, if you will…
When I look at our front yard (an area approximately 150’x300′) right now, I see mud (ok, snow, it’s winter) and gravel, but overlaying that mentally, are big trees dotting the area, and between each are garden spaces – messy areas with colourful flowering things that I hope I don’t kill (I’m a vegetable gardener, flowers weep when I get near. I hope to change that.), patches of vegetables, wildflowers, bushes/shrubs, and connecting each of these spaces, are paths. Probably grass/other green (clover, etc) paths so the weeding upkeep isn’t so bad. I really, really hate weeding. Near the house, kitchen veggies like lettuces and snacking tomatoes. The main house food crops will go in a large garden elsewhere. Under some of the trees might be a bench, or a place to put a lawn chair. Some areas will get basic fencing to keep the dog out of food crops, but I’ll mix up the fencing so it’s messy. Chicken wire in one place, white picket in another.
Organized chaos, right? Everything will have a place and it’ll be overall tidy, with wild places between.
Writing this out actually has helped me figure out what I’m doing with the strip on the left side of the driveway. It’s maybe 170’x30′, with the driveway on one side and a slope for drainage just before the forested area begins, on the other. I was thinking just a strip of vegetable garden, but that has always sounded so boring. I think 3 or 4 areas with flowers and other things thrown in would be both lovely and useful.
Behind the house, we have a wellsite trailer, about 40′ back, so there’s a courtyard about 100′ wide in between. All that’s there currently, is a gravel path and mud (snow). This summer will see a firepit somewhere in there (we dug up an ENORMOUS flat rock that’ll be amazing for firepit seating), a chicken coop at one end, and more messy gardens. We don’t have a true back yard, behind the trailer is overgrown hay land (several acres) that’s too boggy to farm. The plan for that is to work on drainage to put the main goat/sheep shelter/pens there.